Elections 2013 and NOTA

by MG

Yes, it has been five years. I wrote then about anti-incumbency being a powerful force, and so has been the case again in this assembly election in Rajasthan. BJP won unprecedentedly and so on. What did not find its justified mention in all the consequent hoopla was NOTA.

NOTA or ‘none-of-the-above’ option was exercised by more than half a million voters in Rajasthan. That these many people made the effort of walking to the polling booths, standing in a long queue, and having a finger nail shabbily painted, to not select anybody, does say a lot. Interestingly, in Delhi, the NOTA voters were much fewer, possibly because AAP did cover the NOTA sentiment.

However, AAP’s significant victory in terms of number of seats won betray a subtle fallacy. Fallacy, that elections are merely to elect a government. AAP signifies a body of belief, support to that was expressed by people. Just as a significant statement was made by people selecting NOTA. We vote to express our opinion. Even if does not lead to a win, it is relevant. The opinion so expressed would reverberate and strengthen many feedback loops within the system.

NOTA was the fourth largest voted option. In many instances the number of NOTA votes was more than the winning margin. That there is this large segment of voters ready to support a candidate or a party which addresses them properly, is a fact that polity cannot ignore.

Yes, good things ahead!