The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Janata Dal (United) on Friday welcomed the Supreme Court’s judgement that empowers a voter to reject all the candidates in the fray in a poll.
“The Supreme Court judgment on giving an option to the voters not to vote for any of the candidate and to express a negative opinion is a welcome step, because in a democracy, voters are the ultimate boss, and any change in rule, any steps which enhance his rights and the right to vote in particular, is welcome,” said BJP vice president Balbir Punj. “I don't see it as giving voters the right to reject a candidate, but as another option to the voters,” he added.
“We welcome this decision of the Supreme Court on negative voting,” said JD (U) leader K C Tyagi. “People should have this right; i.e. right to reject. It will empower the voters of this country,” Tyagi added.
Hearing a petition filed by the People's Union for Civil Liberties, an NGO, the apex court directed the Election Commission to provide a button on electronic voting machines to allow voters to reject any candidate or candidates contesting an election in a constituency. The apex court asked the central government to provide all assistance to the election commission in introducing None of the Above (NOTA) option in EVMs and ballot papers.
The court says that it would lead to systemic change in polls and political parties will be forced to project clean candidates. There is no provision yet to count the "rejection" votes and so these will not impact the result of the election.