, Lawyers Club India
Article 49-O of Constitution gives us the Right to not vote. DID YOU know that there is a provision in the Constitution of India, as per the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1969 Act, in Section 49-O that a person can go to the polling booth, confirm his identity, get his finger marked, and convey to the presiding election officer that he/she doesn’t want to vote for anyone! Yes, such a feature is available, but obviously these seemingly notorious leaders have never disclosed it. It is called "49-O". 49-O: The voter (or elector) deciding not to vote: If an elector, after his electoral roll number has been duly entered in the register of voters in Form-17A and has put his signature or thumb impression thereon as required under sub-rule (1) of rule 49L, decided not to record his vote, a remark to this effect shall be made against the said entry in Form 17A by the presiding officer and the signature or thumb impression of the elector shall be obtained against such remark. If you think none of the candidates at the ward / constituency are able enough to lead the community, you can always opt not to vote, but if you will use this right of yours you may start a new things in our electoral process, which will further strengthen our democracy. It is useful in the following way: In a ward or constituency, if a candidate wins, say by ’x’ votes, and that particular ward has received "49-O" votes more than x, then that polling will be cancelled and will have to be re-polled. Not only that, but the candidature of the contestants will be removed and they cannot contest the re-polling, since people have already expressed their decision on them. This would bring fear into parties and hence look for genuine candidates for their parties for election. This would change the way of our whole political system. It is seemingly surprising why the election commission has not revealed such a feature to the public. Please spread the word about this and make our fellow countrymen aware of this right. No political party (or conventional media) would campaign for it. It’s yours and my duty. So, let’s go ahead from today!