HYDERABAD: The Telangana State Election Commission (TSEC) is in dilemma over the option of utilising ‘None of the above’ (NOTA) in the ensuing polls to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) to be held on February 2.
The TSEC found discrepancies in the orders issued by the state government recently and wrote a letter to the government to clarify on the issue. TSEC is waiting for clarification from the government on the issue, based on which necessary action would be taken, TSEC senior officials told Express.
A few days ago, the municipal administration and urban development (MAUD) department issued orders relating to NOTA early this month where voters in GHMC limits area would be provided with an option to register their disapproval the candidates in the fray. The state government amended the GHMC Act relating to the conduct of Elections to include the‘None of the AboveÂ’ (NOTA) option in the electronic voting machines (EVMs).
According to GHMC as well as TSEC officials, NOTA option may not be used by TSEC for the forthcoming polls to GHMC. Previously, NOTA option was not exercised in any of the previous Panchayat Raj or the Urban Local Bodies conducted by the TSEC. The main function of TSEC is to conduct of elections to Panchayat Raj and ULBs in the state whereas the Election Commission of India (ECI) is vested with the responsibility of conducting elections to Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies.
NOTA option enables a voter to officially register a vote of rejection of all contesting candidates in the election. The EC had introduced NOTA option on ballot papers displayed on EVMs and all other ballot papers from October 2013 pursuant to Supreme Court orders in Sept 2013.
The Supreme Court recommended that NOTA option must be made available on the EVMs for the voter to officially reject the candidates.