Re-election if NOTA gets more 'votes'
Welcoming the Supreme Court’s recent order to incorporate “None of the above (NOTA)” option in all electronic voting machines, state chief electoral officer Bhanwar Lal has said it was a major step towards the long pending electoral reforms in the country.
Speaking to IT professionals and students at the seminar “Electoral Reforms and Importance of Voting for Healthy Democracy”, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Andhra Pradesh chapter, here on Thursday, he exhorted the participants to cast their votes in the ensuing general elections without fail.
On NOTA, he said, “The recent verdict by the apex court to incorporate NOTA in EVMs is a watershed moment in the long struggle for electoral reforms. In fact, it has the power to force the government to conduct a reelection if NOTA gets more ‘votes’ than the contesting candidates.”
He added that the voters in rural areas are more willing to exercise their franchise than urban voters despite being aware of politics at the national level. “The urban voter is stuck in a myopic view: Will my future change if I vote? How does casting vote benefit my family and myself? We have to reverse this urban syndrome,” he pointed out. Bhanwar Lal said, “We are planning to issue smart cards with colour photographs to all the voters in the state by the end of December.”
Addressing the gathering, founder of Let’s Vote, an NGO, J A Chowdary urged the participants to stop complaining about the state of politics and lack of effective leadership, but bring the needed change by casting their votes. “Each vote pools up to bring about a major change in the country,” he said.
CII AP chapter vice-chairman Suresh Chitturi spoke.