NOTA: An opportunity to get aspirant leaders
In India corruption is one of the biggest problems; in such conditions most of the things are beholden by the leaders we choose and this choice lays foundation of our country. So to underpin the strength of this foundation it is mandate to have deserving leaders with clean image. In accordance to sanitize the process SC in september 2013 upheld the right of voters to reject all the candidates through ‘NOTA’.
NOTA and its working
‘Nota’ or ‘None of the Above’ was one of the newest option served in the plates of voters by Supreme Court an year before 2014 elections. It gives voter a right to show his disapproval for the candidates contesting in elections.India was the 14th country to use this provision in the world. It is kind of a ‘scratch vote’ which indicates the voter's call against all the representatives. Having right to reject the leaders through EVM was one of the biggest electoral reforms of our country with the thought of getting good representatives as leaders. Because ‘NOTA’ is a power in hands of common man to latent out their candidature.
It is upgraded version of the right, voter used to get under Section 49(O), which gives a voter right to cast a ‘negative vote’ but in a separate ballot box along with a name written in a register.
Though right now votes casted as NOTA will not put effect on the outcome of the election as they are counted as ‘invalid votes’ but is also launched with the motive to attain higher voting percentage and pledging suitable leaders for our democracy.
NOTA’s effect till now
The day since NOTA came into existence its voting trends are covered by many news medias and the study it draws is that many voters have turned towards it which shows awareness of the general public. A study by ‘The Hindu’ have analysed the pattern of NOTA’s usage like it is spreading its wings in the areas where there is more of left-wing extremism, constituencies reserved for SC-ST or where there are less options and a straight showdown between Congress and BJP.
For the first time in 2013 it constituted 1.85% of the polled votes in Chhattisgarh, Mizoram,Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi. Continues fluctuating from 0.95% in 2014 assembly elections in 8 different states to 2.02% in 2015 election held in Delhi and Bihar. Though the vote share of NOTA have not crossed 2.02% but it is sufficient to look it’s effect and to see that how the voters have used this option of Negative Voting.
NOTA can be the change
NOTA is an opportunity given to Indian voter to fulfill the motto of ‘choosing wisely’. As it makes a difference when a voter opts it over the incapable leader. It is also a pressure over the political parties to get a candidate who is politically enlightened and have positive leadership traits. It can serve us best if we use it with the motive of sanitizing the political frame of the country instead of just showing their rage against the system. NOTA can be a tool to protest, a voice which is raised and a path towards better India.