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NOTA and its implications

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Recent assembly elections have highlighted a new fact that NOTA is no more just an additional key in the EVMs but a new tool for impacting the results. However, voters should not be blamed for choosing the NOTA as it shows their discontent with the proposed candidates. At the same time, it is also very important to analyze the implications of the NOTA.

According to the Electoral Statistics Pocket Book 2017 [1], “According to the directions of Hon’ble Supreme Court, the Election Commission made provision in the ballot papers/EVMs for None of The Above (NOTA) option so that the voters who come to the polling booth and decide not to vote for any of the candidates in the fray, are able to exercise their right not to vote for any candidates while maintaining the secrecy of their ballot. The votes polled against the NOTA option are not taken into account for calculating the total valid votes polled by the contesting candidates for return of security deposits to candidates. Even if the number of electors opting for NOTA option is more than the number of votes polled by any of the candidates, the candidate who secures the largest number of votes has to be declared elected.”

It implies even if NOTA bags 99 out 100 votes, the candidate getting remaining one vote will be declared elected. What do NOTA citizens gain then? Well, it gives candidates (or their respective party) to analyze the situation and concerns of the citizens. But this comes at the cost of five precious years that has been handed to the party you dislike more than the other. These five years could have been utilized for propagating the nation (or state) forward but now the same five years could push the nation (state) backward.

As human psychology, we can not hate/like two things (persons, movies, gadgets) equally. We will always be leaned towards the one either regarding hate or love. In the case of elections, even if you are dissatisfied with all the parties, there must be one who is best among the worst and this is the ‘one’ who deserve your vote instead of NOTA. However, if you opt for NOTA, which you are tempted to do because you loathe all the candidates, you are directly helping the candidate whom you loathe most to come to power.

On a more serious note, politicians always strive for the votes and their every strategy or policy reflects the same and we can’t expect them to think beyond it. But, as a responsible citizen, we must think about the good interest of the nation even if we are the last person standing to do that. Even if we have to choose among the corrupt politicians, choose the one who is least corrupt, choose the one who can crawl towards the development of the nation than who push it backward and chose the one who has an iota of nationality than who is committed to breaking this great nation.

Let’s strive to ‘Nation First and Individual Last’ because our hatred for some candidates or party can change the course of the nation. Please come forward, vote and say NO TO NOTA.

[1] “Electoral Statistics Pocket Book 2017, pages 83-85,” accessed: 14-12-2018.

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