The 2014 General Elections in the country could be a game changer. The first move has been made by the Supreme Court today by giving voters the right to reject all candidates. According to PTI at ET, The Supreme Court has directed the Election Commission to provide a button on voting machines to allow voters to reject all candidates contesting an election in a constituency. The landmark decision would come into place with the next set of assembly elections that are set to happen this year itself.
A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam, considered that the concept of negative voting is true in a democracy and is prevalent in 13 countries and even in India, parliamentarians are given an option to press the button for abstaining while voting takes place in the House. The bench had the opinion that with the concept of negative voting, the voters who are dissatisfied with the candidates in the fray would turn up in large number to express their opinion, which would put unscrupulous elements and impersonators out of the polls.
This would also bring a systemic change in the election process as the political parties will be forced to project clean candidates in polls. Hence forth one would witness ‘none of the above options’ at the end of the list of candidates in electronic voting machines (EVMs) and ballot papers to allow voters to reject those contesting polls who have disappointed the voters.
#RightToReject creates a buzz on Twitter
Within minutes the news was the talking point on social media; in fact I was informed via the medium. The hashtag #RightToReject started trending within minutes and while writing the article it was trending at the top of the India Twitter trends. I am sure it is going to hold its position in the top ten for the rest of the day.
Some of the tweets that have been creating the most buzz are listed below:
Not voting at all means apathy. #RightToReject means firm action taken by a voter to clean up the system
— Vikram Chandra (@vikramchandra) September 27, 2013
I am going to start a political party with the name “None of the Above”. I hope I will win with a majority. #RightToReject
— Sir Ravindra Jadeja (@SirJadeja) September 27, 2013
— Bollywood Gandu (@BollywoodGandu) September 27, 2013
— Tajinder Pal S Bagga (@tajinderbagga) September 27, 2013
— Jay Hind! (@JayHind) September 27, 2013
#RightToReject We can’t allow someone to be elected on a minority of votes if a large number of voters exercise their right to reject
— R Jagannathan (@TheJaggi) September 27, 2013
— Janlokpal (@janlokpal) March 16, 2013
The court has directed the right to reject candidates in elections as part of a fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression given by the Constitution to Indian citizens. Now it is up to us to show up at the electoral booth and reject the candidates who have taken the voters and their constituency for granted. This will bring some accountability in the dirty game of politics.
Image courtesy: supremecourtofindia.nic.in