Right to cast a NOTA vote: A welcome move to empower voters

Friends, in a landmark judgment on September 27 the Supreme Court ordered the introduction of a “None of the above” (NOTA) button in the electronic voting machines (EVMs) and ballot papers to empower and enable voters to reject all candidates. In its verdict, the court upheld the voters’ right not to vote while maintaining their right of secrecy. It hoped that the move would not only ensure wider voter participation but also compel political parties to field candidates with integrity.

I welcome the judgment. This historic decision took a long time coming but it has finally become a reality. No doubt it is a watershed moment in India’s history but it would have been immensely more satisfying – and I’m sure you would agree with me – if this important step at empowering the voters had unanimously been taken a long time ago by the political parties themselves.

Friends, I am committed to growth with equity, social justice and development, with particular focus on women’s empowerment, youth, education & health care. Therefore, I believe that there is still scope for further electoral reforms.

Jai Hind

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