News:The percentage of voters opting for None of the Above(NOTA) option in the Maharashtra assembly elections has seen a rise of 113% compared to 2014 polls.
- None Of The Above (NOTA) is a ballot option designed to allow the voter to indicate disapproval of all of the candidates in a voting system.
- It was introduced in India following the 2013 Supreme Court directive in the People’s Union for Civil Liberties vs Union of India judgment.
Significance of NOTA:
- It gives the voter the right to express his disapproval with the kind of candidates that are being put up by the political parties.
- It forces political parties to select the honest candidates which means with no criminal records.
- It ensures people’s ‘right to freedom of speech and expression’.
Concerns of NOTA:
- NOTA in India does not provide for a ‘right to reject’.The candidate with the maximum votes wins the election irrespective of the number of NOTA votes polled.
- NOTA can only work only when it is paired with Right To Recall option where voters can recall candidates they have elected.Currently, Right To Recall does not exist in the electoral process in the country which only weakens NOTA.