NOTA – A virtual candidate of fancy or power
What’s in news?
In the last election, a campaign to vote for NOTA was spearheaded and voting to NOTA was seen as a matter of fancy among the first timers and young voters.
- In 2013, the Superme Court headed by the CJI Justice P Sadhasivam, and the bench comprising justices Ranjana Prakash Desai, Ranjan Gogoi, held that, “In order to regain the lasting values of a healthy democracy, a provision to be enrolled in EVMs, to represent the citizen’s dissatisfaction of the candidates. Such provision was given a way for NOTA (None of the above).
- Also he mentioned Negative voting will lead to a systemic change in polls and political parties will be forced to project clean candidates. If the right to vote is a statutory right, then the right to reject a candidate is a fundamental right of speech and expression under the Constitution.
- In the last Lok Sabha election, The Nilgiris, a reserved constituency, in the State had recorded the highest number (46,559 votes) of votes to NOTA. And it is holding the top position all over the country. It is followed by Sriperumbudar (27,676 votes) and Tiruvallur (23,598 votes).
- The apex court and also the ECI, allows for this provision.
- it would have the same effect of not going to the polling station by going to the polling booth and rejecting all the candidates preferring for NOTA.
- According to a survey by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) on the 2014 Lok Sabha elections all over the country, most number of NOTA votes were casted by the upper caste voters than any other caste or minority group. According to the survey, 2.5 per cent upper caste voters opted for NOTA in 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
What happens if NOTA gets majority?
- In early times of Independence, if a candidate wants to declare as winner he has to get 51% of votes. Later on, the provision was relaxed, the majority votes acquiring candidate will be announced as a winner.
- If, None of the above (NOTA), wins the majority, what will happen?
- This takes to the PIL petition filed in November 2017.
- Supreme Court advocate Ashiwni Upadhyay applied PIL, in requesting for re-election if Nota wins the majority. As a reply, former CJI Dipak Mishra replied, if a candidate win 40% votes and rest remain with the NOTA, whether the person want to be subjected to re-election? This indirectly means, if a candidate get less than 51% vote, there should be a re-election. It involves huge capital amount. Then the court said, voter had the right to express his dissent by staying at home.
- At last, he withdraws the petition. His petition had even sought a ban on the parties and their candidates who failed to NOTA in the first election from contesting the fresh polls.
- In the last 2014 election, NOTA played a crucial part by getting valid number of votes.
This verdict clearly shows, if the NOTA win the majority in an election, then the next majority winner will be announced as a selected candidate.