The Indian electorate will be introduced to a unique option coming elections – hopefully starting with the assembly elections in five northern states later this year, and it may pose real challenge to politicians and political parties, making it believe it will cleanse the country’s polity.

With the country’s apex court directing that “none of the above (NOTA)” be added as an option in the electronic voting machines, the voter will perhaps have a decisive say in the outcome of the individual candidate, adding up to the overall picture of the state assembly or the parliament in 2014. Though the effect of the option itself is not clear, the voter will wield considerable power this time, besides flaunting the indelible ink mark on his finger.

Similarly, the apex court has to step in to bring more changes in the polity – like to bring the recall option, that is, to recall an elected candidate should he/she be found in unethical practices. Only, there should be a clear law as to having him/her replaced via a bye-poll, because bye-polls, as is seen a number of times in the recent past, is used as an alternative method of making way to the big house – for example, a sitting MLA contesting parliamentary elections and winning, thus vacating the legislative seat, paving way for a bye-poll, thrusting additional cost to the exchequer, and eventually to the tax payer. In the first place, such a practice itself should be eradicated.

Coming to NOTA, citizens hitherto voted for a leader who was found to be the best (?) of the lot, as they thought there was no other alternative but to choose one of the lot, else give voting a go by. Every citizen gauged each candidate in a different yardstick, thus, statistically, each one of the candidate standing a fair chance – think of India having the distinction of fielding imprisoned criminals also.

Now, should those aspirants think that there is no alternative, other than to, at least, project themselves as worthy choices? Does NOTA scare them so much? Or, does the electorate really wield considerable power this time? Or, is it time for the electorate to choose NOTA as TINA (there is no alternative)?

All said and done, the Supreme Court has come to the party, at last; beside the election commission, the court should be powerful enough cleanse the filth, as the citizens have started to look upon the two institutions, and are left with TINA!



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