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SC's negative voting verdict, good or bad for democracy

Elections are held in the country to elect the right person who has high ethical and moral values and who may work for the upliftment of the country. This is possible only when the elections held in free fare and transparent manner.

With this view Supreme Court has ruled that voters can exercise a new option of 'none of the above' (NOTA) and reject all the candidates listed in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM).

Supreme Court order is remarkable verdict in the future for those who never go to vote or even didn't care for the elections and sit ideal in their home because they think no candidate is up to their expectations. The NOTA will motivate such persons to go poll and to exercise their franchise in total secrecy. This will accelerate effective participation of the voters who are now more empowered with this judgment.

Supreme Court by opting for NOTA opined that this will not bring change at once, but gradually it will replace the corrupt from the election process and bring people with clean image. It will also make the elections become more transparent.

NOTA will definitely bring an end to the nomination of persons that have tainted records. It will induce fear in the mind of political parties and they will nominate their candidates who got clean background and are not involved in any criminal activity.

NOTA would also strengthen freedom of speech and expression that is our fundamental right. Earlier people had no such option and cannot express themselves but now they can freely reject the candidate in complete privacy of secret ballot.

However, there are some pitfalls. After the introduction of the NOTA, such vote will be counted as negative votes. If maximum votes go in the favor of NATO then again the elections have to be held. This may create havoc in the country. This defect of the NATO system is most aggressively being campaigned as organizing fresh elections would be wasteful expenditure.

So before implementing this delicate judgment, various pros and cons have to be kept in mind to avoid any panic situation.

However, if the Election Commission can ensure its proper implementation, then nothing can more beneficial than this provision. NOTA will certainly bring transparency in the elections and strengthen our democracy.

Smita Saxena