Thursday, April 23, 2009

Election Day pleasure and absence of No-Vote option

It is early hours in office and the commute to office has been immoderately pleasant. Less of the traffic and less of the rush. The reason for this benevolence from the denizens of the Garden city upon me today? ohh it is the Election day. Hurray!!! Another holiday for most office-goers, a legitimate one which they might have to compensate by working on a weekend or may be not.

I was getting a glimpse of how Bangalore would have been a few years ago or may be a decade ago. I couldn't stop to think about how Mumbai would have been about 60 yrs ago. It would be less crowded for sure without the infrastructure amenities. But hey, any day I would trade the amenities for a peaceful ride to office - provided I get to do the same job. The ride was pleasant in the sense that it felt as a shorter trip too. A good 40 minutes less to the office.

Now only if the TATA's had built a Rs. 3 Lakh bus rather than the Rs. 1 Lakh "nano" i thought. More public transport, better connectivity and better behaviour from the bus staff... am I asking for too much? Naah, says the eternal optimist within me, "Its still possible to save our home from becoming a hell".

Coming to the Election day discussion, the eternal misnomer about the no-vote option available in the Indian Constitution. The Article 49-O which allows the voter to choose the none of the above option and enforce a re-election in the case of a majority of "no votes". This is false. There is no option available to the Indian voter to vote for an enforced re-election.

Although Rule 49-O, stated in the The Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961, affirms that the person's right not to vote would be recognised in the total vote counting process, in no case would there be a re-poll. As of now, what rule 49-O will do is register the person's signature, or thumbprint. This would also require the voter to reveal their identity, which goes against the system of secret ballots. And even if 49-O votes are more than the winning candidates' votes, it would not negate the result.

There is no judgment as yet on the implications of 49-O toward the upcoming elections, and the barring of candidates from a re-poll. A PIL is pending in the Supreme court to decide about such an option where in, if the no. of "no votes" are more than the no. of votes the winning candidate draws, then the election is considered null and a re-election with new set of candidates has to be conducted. This rule is present in the British Constitution and not in the Indian Constitution.

Our EVM's do not have such an option, nor is there a blank vote option. The only place they had this option was in Maharashtra a few years ago, but it was for a completely different purpose.

So, all my Good Fellas, who went to the polling booth thinking of booting the candidates available, would have been for a rude shock and will have to wait for the next elections, if by then the Supreme court decides upon the PIL.

The good news is, if the Supreme Court decides upon the PIL positively and such an option is made available, then your chance might come sooner than later, since most Election pandits or psephologists, as they like to be known, have "predicted that there can be no prediction" about who will win the elections and a hung parliament is most likely.

In that case, get ready to vote on a date sooner than 2014 with or without the none of the above option. And, yes I would like to savour the lesser traffic and the shorter commute to office on that day too. Looking forward to it desperately.

1 comment:

  1. Knowing how it is to ride in the traffice and specially if its a very sunny day or day when its profusely raining and above that if its dark all the puddle and drains running- awww i'm sure only 2 wheeler riders would know the plight ! The days when we are working and when there is an off is a true BLISS !which is very rare..I had very few such days.This year Ugadi to name one.Ours being a japanese company we were working wow what a pleasure it was zooming off my pep plus whooooooooosh !!! so i pretty well understand what Amit goes through commuting to and fro five days a week..

    Well coming to talk about Mumbai infact there is no less traffic I remember the day I was at the airport to receive Amit.
    I had taken a flight from Bangalore and due to flight delay i had reached at midnight 1 and amit reached at 4 from Europe ! I was all waiting without sleep and my previous day's dinner wanted to get back to our home and sleep but !!!! we were stuck at Mahape for solid 2 hours by the time we reached home it was 7 and since it was already morning couldnt sleep for long.But still the emotions involved in giving a surprise to Amit was more than pleasant when he forgot taking his parents blessing having seen his wife - well this was my in-laws version :-) No offense meant they were happy about the sharing of emotions.

    I guess theres a lot more involved than the just the hustle bustle of the routine traffic..I see it as more of a pleasure to travel longer when commuting together - what say?

    Ah Ah I know now Amit would say the junction where the vehicles used to jam up was because of the road work that was going on..but imagine so much of traffic at morning between 4.30 and 6.30 AM.

    Hmmm...what ever,but have seen the worst traffic almost everywhere these day be it BANGALORE or be it MUMBAI or be it anywhere...