Convert Nota Into ‘Right-To-Reject’ With Riders
SUBHASH CHANDRA AGRAWAL, NEW DELHI
Record-break heaviest polling in Punjab and Goa beating all previous records establishes people’s realisation of their duty to participate in poll-process. Till now voters by and large always insisted on their rights overlooking constitutional duty. Heavy polling has ruled out any need for a totally unpractical idea of compulsory voting once mooted by Gujarat government, and later desired by BJP Parliamentarian Janardhan Singh Sigriwal through a private-member bill. It also remains a practical reality that many voters do not go to vote because they do not find any candidate suitable to represent them. Regular studies done by a non-government-organisation and Association for Democratic Reforms clearly establish the bitter truth about most candidates contesting elections not having a clean record. Election Commission should feel itself duty-bound to present such regularly updated study-reports on its website so as to caution voters against voting for undesirable elements, and opting Non-Of-The-Above (NOTA) in case none of the candidates is desirable to be voted in a constituency. A smart beginning of barring all candidates getting votes less than NOTA from contesting any future direct election can force political parties field only good candidates. Even the winning candidate in case of getting votes less than NOTA may be debarred from contesting any future election, even though he or she may represent voters for that very election. System will provide practical teeth to NOTA and thus purifying the highly polluted political system in the country. However best is to convert NOTA into ‘Right-To-Reject’ but with riders. Re-election may be held in case NOTA gets maximum votes with all candidates getting votes less than NOTA being disqualified for life to contest any election in future even in constituencies where NOTA might not have got maximum votes. However to avoid chain of re-elections because of NOTA getting maximum votes every time, NOTA-button may be disabled in case of re-election caused because of NOTA getting maximum votes.