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NOTA for 2019 elections?

The electoral situation in the nation is taking wide turns with the 2019 Lok Sabha elections coming closer each day. Ordinary people rightly see modern politics as too highly stage-managed, bias, slick, poll-driven and inauthentic. Considering the current political scenario, where the government is run for the benefit of only a few groups in society and not for all people. It would not be wrong to say that voters are fed up of the non-performing leaders be it from any prominent party or any great leader who has promised for a betterment in the society. Is it plausible that the upcoming 2019 elections might witness None of the Above (NOTA) over any political leader or party?

Social activist and former AAP leader Anjali Damania commented, “As of now, NOTA doesn’t have any meaning in the electoral voting, but it is an effective tool for rejecting the candidates. It will be considered measurable if the proportion of NOTA voters will increase. People are confused right now as to whom to vote for, hence they might choose NOTA if they are unhappy with any of the candidates.”

Politics in India has merely become a ‘game of throne’ for all the political parties to come into power. Despite displeasure among citizens with political leaders, people still hasn’t given upon their faith in the democratic government. The common public also has belief in themselves to make their voices to be heard. The ruling government is in the driver’s seat but keeps looking in the rear-view mirror to keep them behind in any condition. While the other parallel parties by any cost wants to go ahead.

Political Analyst Ajit Sawant stated, “I don’t think NOTA will have a huge impact in the upcoming 2019 elections as people have good awareness about voting and selecting a right candidate. People will vote for a candidate after considering various factors. The change is being observed as the number of voters have increased to 72-73 per cent.”

Unsurprisingly, voting is termed to be the most common and influential activity to form a government. Voters were initially left with no option but choosing any of the political party or leader available for a government to be formed, although, with the implementation of NOTA since 2013, it gave citizens a ray of hope for their voices to be heard and a freedom to express discontent against any candidate.

RTI Activist Anil Galgali said, “Not only in Karnataka elections but also in Gujarat or other state’s election people who voted for NOTA did not have any hopes from either ruling party Congress or opposition parties BJP or JD(S), as they do not favour any party, they seek development. Similarly, in 2019 elections, the percentage of NOTA voters will increase on a large scale if people’s demand isn’t fulfilled by any of the parties.”

NOTA did not hold any accountability until now in terms of measuring the votes. In the Karnataka elections that were held a few days ago, observed a change, as NOTA had being polled more than any smaller parties in the state, this could also be considered as the major reason for the loss of BJP in the state election. According to the reports, NOTA saw 0.9 per cent of the total votes polled in the state. This proves the frustration of people towards the false hope and fake promises made by the political leaders.

Congress spokesperson Neela Limaye expressed, “NOTA is a subjective thought process. Karnataka saw a sizeable amount of NOTA voters, but according to me, in the 2019 elections, there won’t be a large number of voters supporting NOTA. Perhaps, NOTA votes are increasing because people are facing issues such as price hike, unemployment etc. Although, our political system needs a change definitely.”

Does our nation not deserve politicians who are well educated, well groomed and spotless in their character? We do have them but the problem is that our system is so vicious that such persons either refuse to soil their hands or are outspoken, outwitted or bogged down by the goons and dacoits in the guise of politicians. This is the reason why we need to revamp our system once and for all.

Senior Advocate Rohini Salian said, “The main reason  for an increase in the NOTA voters is that people are not satisfied with any of the candidates. Their attitude is the major problem for the voters to go for NOTA, although it will not solve any of the problems. Hence, we should utilise the right given by the government despite blaming them later.”

Indians are incensed over the enduring culture of corruption at every level of the government, from bureaucrats who demand bribes for basic services to MPs embroiled in huge scandals involving public funds. Hence, here NOTA encourages a fierce anti-incumbency wave among voters and can even become an alternative to form a progressive government.

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