The right to chose none

Governance Now - - BRIEFINGS -

go­ing by hearsay, it’s a com­mon enough sen­ti­ment and a rea­son for not step­ping out of home on polling day: ‘But i don’t like any of the can­di­dates!’ ever since the elec­tion com­mis­sion of in­dia in­tro­duced the ‘none of the above’ (nota) op­tion on evms on oc­to­ber 11, 2013, af­ter a supreme court or­der, more and more vot­ers have ex­pressed their dis­gust with our po­lit­i­cal sys­tem by press­ing the last but­ton. in the gu­jarat assem­bly elec­tions, 5,51,615 vot­ers said nota. That’s 1.8 per­cent of the votes cast, and more than 2.5 times the votes polled by the Aam Aadmi Party in the 29 seats it con­tested. Pro­por­tion­ately, it was also the sec­ond-high­est nota vote in an assem­bly elec­tion: in the 2015 Bihar elec­tions, 2.48 per­cent of vot­ers chose nota. in Himachal Pradesh, which also went to the polls with gu­jarat, nota votes were 0.9 per­cent. And in the re­cent rk na­gar by­elec­tions in Tamil nadu, the num­ber of nota votes was higher that what the BJP polled. Par­ties ought to take these fig­ures as a wake-up call, but are un­likely to do so: af­ter all, can­di­dates of the ma­jor par­ties are usu­ally win­ning de­spite the no­tas. only when no­tas add up to losses for the ma­jor par­ties will they start think­ing about field­ing can­di­dates who are ef­fec­tive law­mak­ers. Right now, as our colum­nist Chak­shu Roy points out in his es­say on page

20, they are mostly seen as those who will get work done. For that to change, we will first need gov­er­nance that works.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.