TODAY -

A discourse on NOTA for changing Indian dirty politics

Dr Arambam Birajit *

NOTA - Vote icon :: Wikipedia/Lasse Havelund
Pix - Wikipedia/Lasse Havelund



Instead of absolute electoral reforms, quite a number of partial modifications have been carried out till today in different phases of time to bring a quality politics in India. "None Of The Above" popularly known as NOTA is also one of the modifications. As per ruling of Supreme Court on the 27th Sept 2013, NOTA was first introduced in the assembly election of five states i.e. Bihar, Chhattisgarh, M.P., Mizoram and Rajasthan.

In fact, this option is not a new brand of its kind in the electoral scenario of India and abroad. Before introducing the NOTA, under section 49(O) of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 a voter could enter his/her electoral serial No. in form 17A and cast a negative vote. The Presiding Officer would, then, put a remark in the form and get it signed by the voter.

This was done only to prevent fraud and misuse of votes. This section 49(O) stood annulled after the Supreme Court declared the NOTA provision. The previous provision of negative voting could not protect the right of "Secret Voting". Whereas, today's NOTA protects that right.

NOTA is known in different names in different countries like Spain, Columbia, Greece as "White Vote" and in Ukraine as "Against All". In the history of Representative Democracy this option was first introduced in the state of Nevada, USA in 1978. Some criticize that people, who never involve in any social activities and blame everyone, will vote for NOTA by branding the inseparable politics to be an untouchable entity.

Any way, it may be another logic but the situation, nowadays, has come that there is no place in politics for ethically right doers. Therefore, the purpose of NOTA has, now, become more and more clear.

The continuing downfall plight of politics due to nepotism, corruption and criminalization among the politicians, people look at them with intense hatred. This is the sole reason for giving birth to the NOTA in India that gives the "Right to Vote" for those citizens who do not have any option due to unwanted candidates.

Though, it is highly needed to revisit as to how far this NOTA option addresses the frustrated people. The value of votes of all; high and low, caste and creed is equally treated. Whereas, the NOTA is as of now treated as invalid vote and has no value of "Right to Reject". Just it is merely an instrument of protest. Suppose, out of 100 voters 99 vote for NOTA and the candidate getting only one valid vote will be declared as winner.

The meaning, according to the present existing nature of the NOTA, is that opinion can be expressed but that will not be taken care at any cost. In fact, the principle of NOTA is also based on that consent requires the ability to withhold consent in an election just as they can by voting "No" on ballot question.

If the right, the opinion is prejudicially neglected in the electoral democracy, it is obviously indicated that the prevailing system is not working in its true sense. Not only in NOTA but even in the "First Past the Post" system (FPTP) also the votes given to the looser candidates are being wasted.

In this connection, people more prefer the scientific Proportional Representation system (PR) in which no vote gets wasted. Therefore, either NOTA vote or Normal vote of everyone, in a sense, should have something impact in the outcome. The only system which can retain the value of everyone's vote (both NOTA and Normal vote) is "Mix Member Proportional Representation" system (MMPR).

Even though, today's NOTA is necessarily needed to rectify its mechanism. A PIL has already been filed in Madras High Court seeking the full right to reject in place of NOTA. Mostly, Nexalite affected areas are higher in NOTA vote. Bihar state assembly election in 2015 saw 2.49% of NOTA vote which, so far, remains the highest NOTA vote polled in any state assembly election.

Hope that, NOTA vote polled percentage will surely more increase than over and above the existing rate only as and when it possesses some values. Whereas, the raising of NOTA vote is not a symptom of healthy democracy but the provision and campaigning on NOTA vote should be taken as an eradication movement to prevent the transforming of Politics into "Pollutics" by corruption and criminal activities.

This will lead to a drastic systematic change in polls and all the political parties will be forced to project their clean candidates. Owing to the healthy electoral participation, the turnout of voters will be higher and as a follow up result, the proxy vote will be unquestionably minimized.

Keeping this view, some personal proposals are being highlighted through this esteemed daily. That, if the number of NOTA vote is more than that of the winner candidate, the provision of full right to reject can be applied and repoll can be arranged among the fresh candidates.

This situation may not be happened frequently but the system should be there to use as and when needed. The second proposal is the provision of Right to Recall. Recently, regarding the right to recall, Mr. Varun Gandhi, M.P. from Sultanpur constituency of U.P. has moved a private member Bill in the Lok Sabha for non-performing M.P.s and M.L.A.s.

But the performance assessment of an M.P. or M.L.A is somewhat difficult and the matter has not been still taken up for discussion in the public domain or among the political parties. On other hand, assessment for right to recall through NOTA vote will be an easy, self explanatory calculation. For instance, the number of vote secured by a winner candidate can be divided by 5(five) as an electoral term is of 5 years.

The quotient will be considered as one year, and further time period i.e. half, quarter, month and so on can be definitely calculated from the above quotient. If the number of NOTA vote amounts to one year or more, the amount of time will be deducted from the 5 years tenure of the winner candidate. Then, the winner candidate will hold office for the remaining time period only.

After that, Bye election for a new verdict can be held to complete 5 years tenure of an electoral term. And another case may also be considered that if the equivalent time is less than one year, the second winner i.e. the second preference of the concerned constituency can be given a chance to be a representative for the remaining time period or a harden / cut off line may be imposed to prevent unnecessary change of representative for the negligible short time period.

For legalization of all these proposals, a discourse of all sections of society i.e. political leaders, experts, intellectuals and interested individuals is highly needed. If so, a valid vote of NOTA having the power of reject value and recall value will provide an immense opportunity to resolve the problems of unwanted candidates of dirty politics.


* Dr Arambam Birajit wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on June 06, 2017.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Emoinu Khoiramba @Koubru #3: Gallery
  • Driver's Day observation : Gallery
  • HC to revive Human Rights Commission
  • Walk-in-interview at Mizoram University
  • CBI should not do interference..
  • TSA Gunpi Block installed
  • Nagaland Election: another truth of IM
  • Highlighting stand to Rajnath Singh
  • NE youths know India better than most
  • Naga Hoho determined to boycott Polls
  • Myanmar stretch used by militants identified
  • Kachai Lemon Fest @Ukhrul #1: Gallery
  • Gaan Ngai @ Ragailong #1 : Gallery
  • Kachai Village: An Abode of finest Lemons
  • Cry Of A Dying River...14 :: Poem
  • Conflict: A pre-requisite or stumbling block
  • How was the sun formed & emit light
  • Training & placement by Jettwings
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • Rohingya Crisis: Lecture at Indonesia
  • The haunting shadows
  • Announcing poll date for Nagaland
  • Women's Polo Tournament #1 : Gallery
  • Fashion Show: 'Handloom' #2 : Gallery
  • Reporting in Conflict Situation #1
  • Treatment schemes of RIMS, Lamphel
  • Home remedies for skin pigmentation
  • NE Chapter of ICSI inaugurated
  • Media credibility matter to uphold its sanctity
  • Setting down Jan 31 deadline : SC
  • Tangkhul Zingtun Longphang #1: Gallery
  • Wungramphy, Khamgonpou: eMing
  • NEROCA FC Vs Indian Arrows #3 : Gallery
  • Career option in Human Rights
  • Water conflicts over the Brahmaputra
  • PAC against Killing of Pravish: 17 Jan
  • Neiphiu Rio resigns from NPF
  • NPF-BJP Relationship : NPF clarifies
  • Consolidating the sporting heritage
  • Rising air and noise pollution
  • Kukis have equal right... : Neiphiu Rio
  • Rajnath reviews security in NE
  • Lafoi Shamda puthorkpa #2 : Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Commercial Stalls #3: Gallery
  • The joy of living :: Poem
  • Bamboo a tree or grass ?
  • SELF Workshop on Leadership & Fulfilment
  • Fight against corruption; we need Lokayukta
  • Hailing the role of drivers
  • Nangna Helli Nungshiba #2 :: eRang
  • Pung Chollom : Gallery
  • Wakhal Seireng :: Book Review
  • Imphal Jamboree by Global Shapers
  • Importance of regular health check-ups
  • Meetei demand for ST is Constitutional.. #2
  • Weapon Display organized at Moreh
  • Ex-Servicemen Rally organized
  • AR helps Orphanage & Old Age Home
  • Search of comprehensive culture & identity
  • List of MLA (Jan 2018) #1 : Gallery
  • Manipur Gas Today :: Android App
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #3: Gallery
  • GNRC media fellowship announced
  • The Meiteis- Festival & celebration maniacs
  • How to make bridal mehndi long lasting
  • Governor's attention drawn to RIMS
  • Scientist develops prototype of electric car
  • Stereotypes about NE make people living..
  • Light Show at Loktak Lake #5 : Gallery
  • Candlelight vigil for Pravish : Gallery
  • Imbroglio of ethnic identity of Ranglong
  • Foundation For Excellence scholarship
  • Time Table - Class XII Exam 2018
  • Mail spoofing- Trickery by deception
  • Trial by fire
  • Call for solution before election
  • Villagers along Myanmar border get pass
  • Meetei Chanu 2017 #3 : Gallery
  • Art and Artist, A Creative Space
  • NEROCA FC Vs Indian Arrows #2 : Gallery
  • Ode to Thy Mellow Light :: Poem
  • Xmas with Meitei eche at Phaijol
  • Time Table - Class XI Exam 2018
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • IMC , now another hurdle to traffic mgmt
  • Setting aside two days for the people
  • Maring: Kummui Chaa-um : Gallery
  • Miss Manipur 2017 #5 : Gallery
  • Statehood Day Women's Polo Tournament
  • Time Table - HSLC Exam 2018
  • Bananas: Beauty's best friend
  • DPC for Follower at Manipur Police
  • Job Openings at JCRE Skill Solutions
  • The lost treasure
  • Nagas' Interests : Stand of NPF MSU
  • Nagaland polls on schedule: HM
  • Mukna Kangjei Tournament #2: Gallery
  • Keisham Manihar : Natyabhusan(Leela)
  • World Tourism Day #3: Gallery
  • Responsibility of protecting the environment
  • Phishing vs Vishing: The Verbal Challenge
  • BNHS Bi-monthly Program for Jan-Feb
  • Managing weight for preventing diabetes
  • Making democracy peoples' participatory
  • Progressing from media to SC
  • Manipur to set up modern food lab
  • Gaan Ngai @ Kakhulong Khun: Gallery
  • A trip to Moreh #2 : Gallery
  • How long catchy slogans keep hopes alive
  • Recycling of hospital waste-water
  • I am sometime or somewhere : Poem
  • Angami Zapu Phizo's Surreal 2017 AD
  • Film "Legacy Of King Narak" awarded
  • Of PM and our CM
  • Patronising the killing machines ?
  • Deferment of polls unlikely: Ravi
  • PM may visit Manipur in March
  • Emoinu Khoiramba @Koubru #2: Gallery
  • NEROCA FC Vs East Bengal #2: Gallery
  • Transform Colleges into Innovation Centres
  • New Delhi: World Book Fair 2018 :: Review
  • Cry Of A Dying River...12 :: Poem
  • Workshop on National Pension for NE
  • Law enforcers action - Well & good
  • Final pact yet to see light of day
  • Cold wave hits Manipur
  • Take out the cymbals, Manoharsai to stay
  • Indo-Naga Peace Process :: Articles
  • MaiOn - Scenes #2 :: eRang
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #2: Gallery
  • Miss Manipur 2017 #4 : Gallery
  • Is Global Warming Natural or Anthropogenic
  • Prof Gangmumei Kamei: Legendary hero
  • Common Education System rally organized
  • DAMMS launched 2018 calendar
  • Chorus for 'Solution Not Election'
  • NEROCA FC Vs Indian Arrows #1 : Gallery
  • Gaan Ngai @Moirangkhom : Gallery
  • I was born healthy, I wanna die healthy
  • Practice peace & change the life
  • TSA Moreh Block installed
  • Cycle Rally: common education system
  • Ethics, medical profession & soaring fees
  • Meetei Chanu 2017 #2 : Gallery
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Meira rally for Pravish : Gallery
  • Accelerate momentum to endTB for SDGs
  • The call that can't be turned down
  • Live@MDU: New act with same old vibes
  • 1st Centre of Excellence- Electronics Skill
  • LED Lights installed by Loktak Station
  • NE tragedy: Policy failures & influx
  • Angaoba - Scenes #3 :: eRang
  • 51st Mr Manipur Contest 2017 #3 : Gallery
  • Result: Manipur Sangai Intl Digital salon
  • Use Swachhata App to Make Imphal No. 1
  • Career @ events and celebration
  • Night nourishing
  • Indo-Nepal Friendship: 25 yrs of Don Bosco
  • Understanding the indices of life
  • Poppy cultivation & drug cartels
  • Emoinu Khoiramba @Koubru #1: Gallery
  • Day 10: Closing of Sangai Fest #4 : Gallery
  • The creation of the universe, matter...
  • Mumbai: The city of dreams
  • Let this new year kill your new fears
  • Asian Waterbird Census: Count waterbirds
  • Looking for a better inclusive alternative
  • Coaching & commercialisation of education
  • New Year picnic @ Singda Dam : Gallery
  • Miss Manipur 2017 #3 : Gallery
  • Despite Stolen Dreams :: Book Rvw
  • Handloom Training @Hojai : Gallery
  • The Perfect timing
  • IGAR (south) meets Chief Minister
  • Communique from Neiphiu Rio on NDPP
  • Discussion on 'Rohingyas' at Delhi
  • In the process of making change- Manipur
  • Looking ahead from vantage point 2017
  • NEROCA FC Vs East Bengal #1: Gallery
  • World Tourism Day #2: Gallery
  • Immediate Manipur
  • Easter Peace :: Poem
  • You are what you eat
  • Goals for Girls: Leadership Summit @Delhi
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #1: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Front Page Photo #6: Gallery
  • LUCIFER-X released debut EP
  • ..on the ocean of despondence :: Poem
  • Happy new year to State lovers
  • New year, new me: Re-designing self
  • Quiz Competition & Career Awareness
  • Calendar for the Year 2018 :: e-pao Tools
  • Gaan Ngai : Zeliangrong festival :: Flash
  • 51st Mr Manipur Contest 2017 #2 : Gallery
  • Crowd @ Flower Festival @Mao #4: Gallery
  • Gaan-Ngai Festival of Zelianglong
  • Goodbye 2017, welcome 2018
  • Cry of a dying river- 11 :: Poem
  • Free Heart OPD & Echocardiogram
  • Peoples' mandate: what next?
  • Understanding Manipur and its history
  • Kwatha (Indo-Myanmar Border) #2: Gallery
  • Thang Ta @Parlimentary : Gallery
  • A Hymn for Goddess Emoinu
  • Flower Festival @ Mao #3 : Gallery
  • Why the Ngamu Fish ?
  • Restricted Holidays 2018 : Govt of Manipur
  • Lourembam Bedabati : Sangeetbhusan
  • Culturals @ Mera Houchongba #3 : Gallery
  • List of RIST popular talks during 2014-2017
  • Christmas eve @ CCpur #2 : Gallery
  • Public Holidays 2018 : Govt of Manipur
  • Pui Thangamliu #2 :: eRang
  • Christmas Carol @ Lamphel : Gallery
  • Royal Crematorium at Bangkok #2 : Gallery
  • General Holidays 2018 : Govt of Manipur
  • Nupilal Ningsing Lamjen : Gallery
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #7 : Ooba
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2018 : Download it
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS