Experiment ‘Right-To-Reject’ and other poll-reforms in elections to Delhi state-assembly


SUBHASH CHANDRA AGRAWAL
Guinness Record Holder & RTI Activist

Elections for state-assembly of Delhi are going to be held on 07.02.2015. Union government and Election Commission can experiment ‘Right-To-Reject’ in Delhi which has a much smaller area compared to other larger states. ‘Right-To-Reject’ is not at all difficult to be implemented with option for ‘None-To-Vote’ (NOTA) already available on Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). NOTA is simply of theoretical value with no practical result on election-results. Even if NOTA gets maximum votes, then also candidate next to NOTA is declared elected. At times, voters are forced to select best out of the worst candidates in absence of ‘Right-To-Reject’. Most people who do not go to vote do so because they do not find any candidate fit for being voted. Implementing ‘Right-To-Reject’ will abolish need of ‘compulsory voting’ which was recently mooted by Gujarat government.

Re-election may be held in case NOTA gets maximum votes with all candidates getting votes less than NOTA being disqualified for life to contest any election in future even in constituencies where NOTA might not have got maximum votes. However to avoid chain of re-elections because of NOTA getting maximum votes every time, NOTA-button may be disabled in case of re-election caused because of NOTA getting maximum votes. ‘Right-To-Reject’ will make political parties put good persons as their candidates. ‘Right-To-Reject’ should be implemented at all levels including for elections to Lok Sabha, state-assemblies and local bodies (civic-bodies and village-panchayats).

Election Commission’s formula making political parties compulsorily field at least 33-percent women candidates can also be experimented in Delhi. Also no candidate should be allowed to contest from more than one constituency. Rather a sitting Parliamentarian must resign before filing nomination for state-assembly.

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