NOTA votes don’t affect the outcomes of an election at present. To give greater sanctity to NOTA and even order a fresh election, Rule 64 of Election Commission will have to be amended and can be done by the law ministry and will not require Parliament sanction.
The MSEC (Maharashtra State Election Commission) in a significant move contended that “If no contesting candidate secures more vote than the NOTA (None of the Above), then re-election would be conducted.”
Municipalities’ elections starting from November 9 in Ahmednagar and Dhule of North Maharashtra would be the testimony of this trend-setting move.
ADR (Association for Democratic Reforms) in its report on NOTA published on March 8, 2018, has also recommended that “if in any constituency the votes polled in NOTA are higher than all contesting candidates then the following action should be taken:
The commission which is entrusted with responsibilities to conduct elections in rural and urban local bodies was also reportedly, among first to introduce NOTA option in local body elections, two days after Supreme Court’s verdict on 27th September 2013.
Inspired by the move of MSEC, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has, in stride into direction seek to know the opinion of political parties on the matter. Rule 64 of Election Commission of India which deals with the declaration of Results and returns, states “the returning officer shall declare the candidate to whom the largest number of valid votes have been given, to be elected” is in contestation.
In current norm, a candidate who secures more vote than his fellow competitors in the election is declared the winner, it is applicable even when majority votes are for NOTA. An implicit meaning worth noting is that NOTA votes don’t affect the outcomes of an election at present.
You can view the full statement here.
ADR in its detailed report on NOTA votes has brought out interesting facts and figures:
Election Commission of India is currently reading the decision of MSEC and the legalities involved in. As per the report published by Economic Times, EC (Election Commission) currently has no plenary powers to call for a fresh election even if NOTA secures highest votes. To give greater sanctity to NOTA and even order a fresh election, Rule 64 will have to be amended and can be done by the law ministry. It will not require Parliament sanction.
Fact Hunt is an independent social journalism platform to counter fake news. You can connect with other users to share and discuss on any trending and controversial stories.