NOTA has potential to change Indian democracy and make the beginning today

Bengaluru, May 11, 2018: The startup state can kick up a movement to change the way democracy functions in this country. Since the first elections of Independent India, a voter has been given a set of candidates and asked to choose. But there is no choice. This has built cynicism in voters and there is a progressive decline in voting percentage.

The concept of NOTA (None Of The Above) isset to break the stranglehold of the political parties on the electoralprocess. Photo identity cards (EPIC) and electronic voting machines (EVMs)ushered in significant improvements in the way India conducted elections. Bogusvoting stopped and results are announced in extra quick time. 

Similarly, NOTA will bring in quality candidates if itis implemented as in many other countries. In some of the mature democracies inthe world, if NOTA receives a majority of vote, a variety of formal proceduresmay be invoked, which include, having the office remains vacant, having theoffice filled by appointment, re-opening nominations or a callout for anotherelection, thus truly giving power to people and their choice in strengtheningthe value of democracy. 

Make NOTA relevant. This is the demand of a group ofCitizens from Bengaluru. Mr. Nanjunda Pratap representsan informal Group of Citizens in Bengaluru, said “We appeal to thePeople of Karnataka to cast their vote to the candidate of their choice. Ifthey don't approve of any of the candidates contesting in their constituencyfor any reason, then they should consider NOTA. This will send out a strongstatement of disapproval by the voter to the politicians and the politicalparties. Those people who otherwise do not vote because they don’t likecandidates should go and opt for NOTA. More the number for NOTA more will beits power to enforce change. By making NOTA relevant we can bring rightfulpower to the Votes (and Choice) of the citizens of this country and make Indiaa True Democracy”. 

In response to this initiative of the citizens, Mr. MJSrikant, Political Analyst, and Strategist said, “There hasbeen a paradigm shift in the Indian Political Scenario over the last decade.Change of generation, higher literacy and access to technology at affordablerates are three factors that have empowered citizens to take informeddecisions. Even though Caste and Religion based voting criteria are stillinfluencing vote bank swings, these factors are gradually changing the votebank dynamics and governance delivery even in suburban and rural geographies.In such a scenario if the NOTA is made relevant, it can change the waypolitical parties choose their candidates and in turn the dynamics of Indianpolitics”

Explaining the NOTA’s potentialanothercitizen volunteer Mr. Mahesh, said “In the 2014 LokSabha elections the national polling percentage was 66.44% and close to 40% ofthe winning candidates won with less than 30% of the total votes. With NOTA,33.66% citizens, who did not vote, could have altered the political landscape”. 

Giving Karnataka’s example, one of the concernedcitizens Mr. Vikram said “in 2013 assembly elections57.63 % exercised their franchise in Bengaluru. This means over 40% of thevotes were never cast for various reasons but the dislike of candidates was thechief reason. We wish to change that scenario in this election by urging thepublic to not to stay away from voting. Register your disapproval through NOTAso that we can work towards making NOTA relevant”. 

Please check andmake your vote count.

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