Former Karnataka Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde on Sunday said that when voters start using the None Of The Above (NOTA) option, it will lead to political parties taking care to choose proper candidates.

“I was part of a committee that came up with suggestions [on electoral reforms] and we had suggested that if the number of votes polled for NOTA is more than that of the candidates, then the candidates should be disqualified for a number of years. Though it will mean more expense, there should be re-election. That change is necessary,” he said.

Mr. Hegde was delivering a special address on ‘The role and responsibilities of elected representatives’ at a voters awareness programme organised by The Triplicane Cultural Academy and The Kasturi Srinivasan Library. He said that present day elected representatives were not looking at themselves as public servants but as public masters.

“The problem lies with us. We do not ask questions. If you don’t find a proper candidate, it is time we start using NOTA,” he said.

Former Policy Adviser to U.N. B.S. Raghavan said this meeting was part of a series of programmes to celebrate the diamond jubilee of the Academy.

He said that a democracy works not in abstraction but through people who work their democracy and those are the elected representatives.

“If the representatives are not aware how they should function to give content and meaning to democracy, then, democracy itself becomes a sham,” he said.

Academy president G. Narayanaswamy was also present on the occasion.

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