With what might be seen as another major victory for team Anna, the Government is considering implementing the option of Right to reject in the coming polls. The Election Commission accepting the demand of team Anna has written to the Law Ministry asking to implement the option of Right to reject in future polls. The commission will ask law ministry to suitably amend poll rules and allow introduction of a button in the electronic voting machines that gives voters the option of none of the above. However there would be no need to amend the existing election laws in the country and a change could be made through a executive order. Under Sec 49 of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 does allow the voter to access the Right to reject option, but it violates his privacy as the voter needs to present in physical form in the pooling booth to do so. Converting this option into electronic form will ensure that the voter remains anonymous.
Prime Minister has promised Anna Hazare the government would look into the option of Right to reject. Team Anna members including Kejriwal, Shanti Bhushan, PrashantBhushan and KiranBedi met the full Election Commission on Monday regarding their demands. This was after the Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi had rejected their earlier demand introducing the notion of Right to recall. The option of right to recall allows the citizens to remove an elected representative during mid-term by acquiring a certain number of votes. Quraishi argued that Right to Recall would encourage short-sighted populism and discourage MPs and MLAs from taking tough but unpopular stands and it would further mean that an election would be held every time a politician is voted out and it would lead to increased cost and election fatigue. But Quraishi said he was more open to the option of implementing the Right to reject concept. Election reforms have become the main priority of Team Anna after the agitations at RamlilaMaidan Ended.
News reported by Adhir Roy Chowdury