DELHI: 28 Sept 2013
The Social Democratic Party of India, (SDPI), has partly welcomed the latest Supreme Court verdict wherein the citizens have been granted right to cast secret negative vote rejecting all candidates contesting polls.Indiashall now become the 14th country in the world to allow secret negative voting. Earlier, the option to reject was not a secret one as even though the right was available to citizens under rule 49(o), voters had to give the option in writing on voters’ register.
SDPI national president Mr. A. Sayeed in a statement said that the decision which would encourage people not satisfied with contestants to turn up for voting and thereby increase the voting percentage and make the Indian democracy even more vibrant and participative. The SC rightly stated that if members of Parliament have the option to “abstain” during voting in Parliament, the same privilege should be extended to voters, The decision is bound to compel political parties to field “sound” candidates in elections. The verdict will induce purity in political system and political parties will have to put good candidates. In the present system, people had to select between ‘bad and worse’, while now onwards voters expect to select between ‘good and better’.
He, however, said there is a lacuna in the verdict as the Supreme Court is silent on what happens if the majority of the electorate in a constituency goes for the “None of the Above”, (NOTA), option. It did not throw light on a situation in case the votes cast under no option head outnumber the votes got by the candidates. He suggested that in such a situation re-election be held in the constituency disqualifying all the candidates rejected by voters from contesting the re-election. Care should be taken to ensure that this reformation does not encourage anti-politicians. It is also embarrassing that, of late, Supreme Court very often intrude in to the legislature.
Rahul Gandhi’s childish act
Meanwhile, Mr. Sayeed while dissenting with the Ordinance against disqualification of convicted lawmakers has termed the act of Rahul Gandhi, the Congress party’s heir apparent and undeclared Prime Minister-in-waiting, lambasting it as a childish outburst. He has let down the Prime Minister, his cabinet and others in the party by hypocritically changing the party stand on the Ordinance and claiming all credit by himself. Surely this is not the sign of a mature leader. As such the Congress party will have to look for another leader who could don the mantle of prime ministership when the situation arises. It is good to note that those politicians who are under trial and are in police custody or are on judicial remand have not been barred from contesting elections.