The “None of The Above” (NOTA) option should have weightage. Re-election must be held if the number of NOTA votes is more than the votes garnered by the winning candidate in a particular constituency, demanded B. Damodar, general secretary of Gram Panchayat Hakkotaya Andolana.
Addressing presspersons here on Tuesday, he said: “Even if all the political parties field poor candidates, the voters have no option but to elect someone who is the least corrupt from among them. For this to change, the NOTA option should carry some weightage.”
The “Me and my vote are not for sale” campaign, launched by the organisation, too has gained momentum. Convenor of the andolana, Nandana Reddy, in a press release, said, “Today, as vigilant citizens of the country, we reject the corrupt practice of buying and selling votes because it compromises citizenship. We need to think ahead and see how the voting mechanism can be further evolved to serve the tenets of a vibrant democracy, active participation and dissent.”
The andolana was now demanding that the NOTA option not be limited to being an “invalid or negative vote”, she said and added that it should stand for “rejection” of unacceptable candidates with attached consequences of re-election.
Meanwhile, Town Hall wore a celebratory look with the “Say No to being treated like a fool” event organised by the andolana. Street plays by Shoonya and Volunteer for a Better India depicting conversations around better voting practices, celebration of citizenship through art by prominent artists, participative art space with the template of a finger and an election mark to depict “Aspirations for democracy”, photo section to “Raise your finger for the cause” where citizens could be part of the campaign, were held between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., the release added.