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NEGATIVE VOTING IN THE INDIAN ELECTION

SYSTEM A STUDY
Dissertation
Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of

MASTERS OF ARTS
IN
UNIVERSITY OF MADRAS
By
PRETHIN V. POTHEN
Reg.No.123PS112
Under the supervision and guidance of

R. SRIDHAR, M.A., M.Phil.


Associate Professor, Department of Political Science

MADRAS CHRISTIAN COLLEGE (AUTONOMOUS)


AFFLIATED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MADRAS
TAMBARAM, CHENNAI -600 059
APRIL 2014.

DECLARATION
I, PRETHIN V. POTHEN, hereby declare that the dissertation NEGATIVE
VOTING IN THE INDIAN ELECTION SYSTEM A STUDY submitted
in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Degree of Masters of
Arts in Political Science, is the record of the research work done by me, under
the supervision and guidance of R. Sridhar, M.A., M.Phil. Associate professor,
Department of Political Science, Madras Christian College (Autonomous),
Tambaram, Chennai 600059 and that, this dissertation has not previously
formed the basis for any Degree or Diploma, Associateship, Fellowship or other
similar titles.

Place: Tambaran
Date: 1/4/2014

Prethin V. Pothen

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

It is my great pleasure and privilege to acknowledge the valuable help I


received in the preparation of this dissertation work.
First and foremost let me praise and honour the Almighty God for the
opportunity given to me to realise my goal.
I express my sincere thanks to my supervisor Prof. R. Sridhar, for his valuable
guidance, comments, encouragement, friendly approach and support all through
the work.
Special thanks to student community of Madras Christian College, who all
helped me in the survey about my topic.
I would like to extend my deepest thanks to all faculty members of the
Department of Political Science especially Dr. J. Ramesh Sundar, Head of the
department for their encouragement throughout my work.
I also gratefully acknowledge the help and support from my classmates and
other friends.
I am extremely grateful to my parents for their constant support and prayers
Finally, I would like to record my thanks to all others who have supported to
make this dissertation into a reality.
Prethin V. Pothen

CONTENTS

Chapters

Title

Page No.

Introduction

5-10

Negative Voting A Historical Note

11-28

NOTA and Assembly Election 2013

29-51

Public Awareness about Negative Voting

52-71

Conclusion

72-76

Bibliography

77-79

Appendix I

80-81

Introduction

India is one of the biggest democratic countries in the current world politics.
Indian democracy has more than sixty years background. It is a small period of experience
compared to other democratic nations like USA, UK, France etc. but we can say our system
is working very well. Each government comes into power through the democratic way by the
general election. Only in the period 1975 to 1978 the country moved to the non-democratic
way due to the proclamation of national emergency. Even today nation is following the
democratic method for electing our ruling leaders from top to bottom level.
Every system needs changes from time to time. Our democratic system also
must go through so many changes adapting to the changes of the times. Recently Supreme
Court of India has introduced Negative voting in Indian election system. It gives the people
right to reject all the candidates contesting in the election in a constituency1. N.
Gopalaswamy, former chief election commissioner, hailed the court ruling as "a great and
welcome judgment"2. So we have scope it will make some changes in the Indian election
system
Democracy is not merely a guarantee of adult franchise; it is also creating
conditions for participation in the political process. Has India been successful in this regard?
It is a questionable fact and also very difficult to arrive at a conclusion because
of the apparent paradox one confronts when conceptualizing Indian democracy. The popular
zeal, which reaches the level of hysteria at times during the elections, almost evaporate ones
politicians take over political authority and thus hardly functions as the custodian of both the
democratic process and its value system.
Indian democratic system is going through different type of evolutionary
changes. As we always witness problems like voting rate will go down, criminalisation of
politics, money flow in the election to influence the voters, malpractices in the elections,
voters lack of freedom for selecting candidate etc. these incidences destroy the idea of
democracy. In the simplest form, Democracy means people get the opportunity to select their
candidate in the election.

But in countries like India people have no right to select the candidate on our
wish. In India what happens in most of the elections are political parties giving the candidate
to the voters. Voters are left to either select the candidate from the list or keep away from the
election.
In addition, by implementing negative voting government ensures the Article
19 is enforced3, which allows the right to opinion of the voters and at the same time it keeps
the privacy of the voter, thus affirms the Article 21 that provides protection for life and
property4.
In an application level, it helps to fulfil the moral duty of the voter not to select
criminals as parliamentarians. Actually the idea of negative voting came as a reaction against
the appearing of criminals in general elections. A joint study of national election watch and
association for democratic reforms reveals 162 elected members of parliament in 2009 15th
Lok Sabha election have criminal backgrounds. In these circumstances the idea of negative
voting has relevance. Supreme Court issued negative voting on 27 September 2013 and
election commission implemented this facility on12 October 2013. Then it was first
introduced in last state legislative assembly election5.
The history of negative voting started in India in 1961. According to the
conduct of election rule 1961, Rule 49-O which governs elections in the country, it describes
the procedure to be followed when a valid voter decides not to cast his vote, and decides to
record this fact. The apparent purpose of this section is to prevent the election fraud or the
misuse of voters.
49-O, if an Elector deciding not to vote, 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 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.
This is the old form of negative voting, but the problem is it does not keep the secrecy of the
voter. On these reasons a new argument was emerged, a provision on negative voting will
include in the voting machine or ballot paper.
At first, on 10 December 2001 election commission requested government of
India concerning the urgent need of negative voting. Since it was rejected later on 30 July
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2004 T.S. Krishnamurthy, then chief election commissioner resubmitted the suggestion. As a
result of this emerged the facility of negative voting. Because the election commission
received proposal from a large number of individuals and organization that there should be a
provision enabling a voter to reject all the candidates conducted election in the constituency if
he does not find them suitable. The Commission recommends that the law should be
amended to specifically provide for negative / neutral voting. For this purpose, Rules 22 and
49B of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 may be suitably amended adding a proviso that
in the ballot paper and the particulars on the ballot unit, in the column relating to names of
candidates, after the entry relating to the last candidate, there shall be a column .None of the
above, to enable a voter to reject all the candidates, if he chooses so. But that time
government of India didnt take any decision related to this mater.
Supreme court of Indias judgement by P. Sathasivam on writ petition (Civil)
NO. 161 OF 2004 by Peoples Union for Civil Liberties Versus Union of India proclaimed
the option for negative voting for all voters. And India became the 14th country to implement
negative voting.

Objectives of the study


The study has the following objectives:
1. An attempt to understand the meaning of Negative voting.
2. To study the possibilities of electoral reformation, by an analysis of negative voting
system implemented in five states of the country India, in the recent legislative
elections.
3. To analyze whether electoral reformation through negative voting has been a success
or failure.
4. To find out what the impact of negative votes has been in the last legislative election
conducted by the Election Commission of India.
This study is very pertinent one in terms of the need to understand the idea of
Negative Vote in Indian election system. Why it has been introduced in the Indian election
system? How far it has been practical? And how far it will be effective in the future? The
paper tries to understand the background of the negative voting system and also aims to study

how it will reflect the Indian elections. Through this study the objective is to find out the
voters attitudes towards the negative voting system.
Hypothesis
The study aims to the test the hypothesis Negative voting will make a significant impact on
the electoral system in India by reducing the ill of the present election system.

Methodology
Basically, this research work is exploratory in nature. Since the source
materials of the historical periods do not facilitate primary source and the events that
followed did not substantiate the major concerns of this study, the exploratory method is
strongly sought for.
A scientific approach including field work using questionnaire is the main
feature of this study. A probability sampling within its simple random sampling method was
employed for the purpose of selecting sample size of 100. These 100 samples were students
representing at the undergraduate, postgraduate, M. Phil and PhD class from day stream and
evening steam of Madras Christian College. The samples size of 100 of the universe called
Madras Christian College consisting of 6000 students of various levels. This means 100
samples selected by simply pick the students from the basis of gender, stream classes,
residents, native place. The data has been collected from the different areas of the college, as
only then do we get the real participation of all students from the universe of Madras
Christian College.
A questionnaire method was suitably used for the study. A questionnaire
consisting of 25 questions in addition to personal information was circulated among 100
samples chosen for eliciting relevant information for the students on their awareness about
negative vote.
Among the traditional method, survey of literature was relied upon for
collecting materials. Relevant books, journals, periodicals, news papers, debates in the TV
channels and leaflets provided rich secondary source materials for the study.

Chapterisation
This study is divided into five segments, each dealing with a specific aspect. A brief
examination of subject matter may be attempt here.
The introduction deals with the brief introduction about the topic, the hypothesis,
methodology and rationale of the study.
The first chapter Negative Voting A Historical Note deals with a conceptual frame
work about idea of democracy, voting system and negative voting.
The second chapter NOTA and Assembly Election 2013 analyzes the election result
of the five state legislative assemblies, with the rate of negative vote in the each
statute
The third chapter Public Awareness about Negative Voting analyzes the findings of
the survey with the help of charts, diagrams etc. which contains rich statistical data
collected from various sources.
The last segment of the project is the conclusion where hypotheses are validated against
the findings of the study. Several suggestions are also put in the last part to
improve the impact of negative voting.

An overview
This study assumes that the existing structure of the negative voting is not
efficient enough to remove the criminals and corrupt individuals from power. And the current
system is not at all able to make any change in the current election system. It is something
like as if the voter has not cast his vote. So the good idea of negative voting has to be more
polished more and adapted more efficiently adding some more ingredients and terms into it
making it powerful and effective and thereby become more fruitful in nature emanating
democracy.

Endnote:
1. Andrew North, India voters get right to reject election candidates, 27 September 2013,
BBCNews.com, 15 December 2013
http://bbcnews.com/ India voters get right to reject election candidates.html
2. Mubasshir Mushtaq, Indias top court allows negative voting, 27 September 2013, Anadolu
Agency, 14 January 2014
http://aa.cc.com.tr/Indias top court allows negative voting.html
3. Lawmanns, Constitution of India ( New Delhi : Kamal Publishers, 2012 ) 9.
4. Lawmanns, Constitution of Indian, 12
5.

J. Venkatesan, Give voters right to cast negative vote: apex court, 28 September
2013, The Hindu.com, 22 December 2013http://thehindu.com/ Give voters right to
cast negative vote: apex court.html

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Chapter 1
Negative Voting Historical Note

In a democratic system choice is essential ingredient because democracy


means the government by people. That means people should be able to have their say in one
way another in everything that affects their lives1. The concept of democracy in India to
share ideas for the governance of a state has grown with history. In early Indian political
unites was that of the class (village community and tribe). All the members of the class were
equal. Each class the in the village community has its own assembly. Only the king or head
of village or the tribe was above the democratic body. The Vedic period created an outlet for
dissent within this system. Then the king was at the top and all others come under them.
Successful monarchies had democratic principles built into them. As kingdoms grew in size,
kings found ways to try to keep in touch with the people. There are numerous Indian legends
of rulers roaming in disguise to mingle with subjects, and of kings who developed public
works for the benefit of the people. In the period of British rule all over the country
intensified among Indians the urge for democracy. The freedom movement was orchestrated
by Indians with an unprecedented sprit of unanimity, talking along with it the people of all
hues rich and poor, young and old, people in urban and rural area, men and women belonging
to all religions and castes, and those associated with almost all professions2. And other side
the influence of British way of governess is Indian leaders tried to accept the idea of
democracy. On other hand Indian diversity in terms of religion, caste, language, regionalism
etc, can only be maintained through the democratic way. Thats why India adopted the
democracy as a way of selecting the rulers of the country.
Democracy is a complex and contested concept; there will always be
difference of opinion, despite some considerable convergence on a core definition. Most
definitions of democracy focus on qualities, procedures and institutions. There are many
expressions of democracy in the real world, and educators want to guard against assuming
that particular practise and procedures must be promoted and adopted universal. The
democracy does not consist of a single unique set of those institutions that are universally
applicable. The specific form of democracy takes in a country is largely determined by

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prevailing political social and economic circumstances and the other influence by history,
traditional and cultural factors
The word democracy was coined by the ancient Greeks who established a
direct form of government in Athens. In Athens that time all adult males would gather to
discuss issues and they would vote by show of hands. But slaves and women did not have the
right to vote. This type of governments is time consuming and it is impossible for huge
populations to meet every time a decision has to make3. On the basis of this there is a change
happened from direct democracy to representative democracy. It was inevitable to established
democracy in larger and more diverse societies. Today we can see the forms of direct
democracy such as referenda, petitions, plebiscites, and propositions, but these appear most
often in the older and more technologically resourced democracy. In the real sense of the
democracy it should encourage people to express their views on the values that exist in the
society.
About democracy we can find out various definitions some of them are
following. According to Vincent ostrom democracy means One person one vote, majority
rule4. The Madisioonian theory of democracy is an effort to bring off a compromise
between the power of majorities and the power of minorities, between the political equality of
all adult citizens on the one side, and the desire to limit their sovereignty on the other5. Both
of the definition say that in democracy we can see two set of peoples one is majority group
and another is group is minorities.
In the world politics we can see different type of democracies they are representative
democracy, direct democracy and constitutional democracy.
Representative democracy means everyone has the right to take part in the
government of his country, direct or through freely chosen their representative. The will of
the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this shall be expressed in
periodic and genuine elections that shall be held on the basis of universal and equal suffrage
and shall be held by secret vote or the equivalent free voting procedure. In the elections,
citizens have their choice of vote for the candidate. The elected candidates become the
government of the country. The elected representative governs for a set of period of office.
Representatives are chosen through elections based on the constituency or proportional
representation systems or on a combination of the two6.

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The direct democracy which means people can vote directly to the issues.
Today only Switzerland we can see the direct form of democracy. In a large society like India
the direct democracy is not possible in the decision making. The forms of direct democracy
are such as referenda, petitions, plebiscites and mandamus.
Most, but not all, democracies are based on written constitution or supreme
law of the country. Written constitutions serve as a guarantee to citizens that the government
is required to act in a certain way and uphold certain rights. The power of a real democracy
depends on certain fundamental rights and freedoms. These rights and freedoms must be
protected to make sure that a democracy will succeed. In many countries these rights are
found in and protected by a constitution. The constitution also sets out the structures and
functions of the government. It provides the guidelines for the making of other laws. It is
normally protected from amendment by the whim of particular government by having a
special majority required before any clause can be changed or through submitting any
changes to voters though a referendum7. These are different forms of democracy.
When a country is following some minimum requirements then only we can say that country
is following democracy.
Control over government decisions and policies are constitutionally vested in elected
representative
Elected representatives were chosen in frequent and fair election
All adults have the right to vote in election
All adults have right to run the public office.
Citizens have the right to express themselves on political matters, defined broadly, without
the risk of state punishment.
Citizens have the right to form associations, and organizations, including independent
political parties and interest groups
Government is autonomous and able to act independently from outside constraints.
If any of the conditions is not present, in any country, we can say it is not truly
democratic8.
Democracy gives a choice to the voters to select one from the list based on
their wish. This is the common way which is being followed by the most of the democratic
countries. Voting is movement converging [...] from each member to the whole 9. India also
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was following this type of democracy before eight months. Indian democracy gives a choice
to the voters to select the representative to the three levels of the government. At that time
voters are only given the chance to select the candidate from the list. In this base we cant say
people give their support to the selection of candidate because, sometimes, some voters dont
like the given candidate. Then what the voter will do? It is a questionable thing. We cant can
say Indian democracy gives choice to the people to select their representative to the
governments. Other problem in Indian election system is, most of the time political parties
give their own candidates to the people in the election. In this state we cant call it a
democracy. It is called partyeocreacy. Political parties only give the party candidates to the
election. On this reason we can say the old system of election is not perfect. It gives only a
choice within the list. Voters cannot enjoy the full freedom of their expression and their wish.
According to the Indian Constitution Article 19(a) All citizens shall have the right to freedom
of speech and expression10. So, some changes is necessary to the old system. Thats why a
demand for Negative Vote (NOTA) came from the public side. As a response to this need
election commission gave proposal to the government of India. But government did not take
it into consideration. They rejected it, and then Peoples Union for Civil Liberties submitted a
petition to the Supreme Court11. Later 2013 September 13th the supreme court of India
declared India as the 14th nation which introduces the negative voting system in the
election12.
The main argument for the implementation of NOTA by the Peoples Union
for Civil Liberties is it will ensure two fundamental rights to the voters. Article 19(a) of the
Indian constitution says that All citizens shall have the right to freedom of speech and
expression13. Through implementing negative voting, all voters are given opportunity to the
freedom of expression. It will help the voters to express their wish. In the old system we cant
see this type of option. In the ballot paper or Electronic Voting Machines we can see only the
candidates names, who are contesting the election. That time we cant say voter has the full
right to express their wish. Because of the, voter has only a limited option to select any one
candidate from given list. Voter does not have the full freedom to express their view. In that
sense another option is essential. Through the implementation of negative voting the court
ensure the fundamental right of the people. The fundamental rights very essential for the
peoples, otherwise we cant fulfil our life. By negative voting I hope, the right of the voters
will be fulfilled.

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The second argument about the implementation of negative voting is, it ensure
the personal liberty of the voters. According to the Article 21 of Indian constitution it
Protection of life and personal liberty - No person shall be deprived of his life or
personal liberty except according to procedure established by law14. It will help to protect the
life and the personal liberty of the voters. Sometimes it is a questionable thing, how is
negative voting protecting the life and personal liberty of the voters? All of you know in early
times there is no such options in the ballot paper or Electronic Voting Machines. In those
days there was one option available in the election system. The Rule 49 O of the Conduct of
Election Rules, 1961 it says 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. But the problem of using the Form 17A and not decided to vote, that
time all of know that we didnt vote. The secrecy of the voter will not be there. Sometimes it
will leads to problems between the political parties and the voters. It will cause threatening of
voters life and personal liberty. On this basis sometimes voters are not ready to choose this
type of voting. That time voter cant express their views. That is totally against the
fundamental rights. So in this context implemented the concept of the negative voting. It will
help to protect the freedom of expression and life and personal liberty. Because we can do
negative voting in the ballot paper or Electronic Voting Machine, it will keep the privacy of
the voter and no one cant understand the voter what he/she does in the ballot paper or
Electronic Voting Machine. So we can say the implementation of negative voting protects the
fundamental rights of the voters.
An election is a formal decision making process by which the adult population
chooses an individuals to holding public office. To elect means to choose or make a
decision, and so sometime other forms of ballot such as the referred to as elections,
especially in the United States. By the act of voting, the people operate in a sovereign
capacity, acting as maters to select their governments the modern representative democracy
system was started since the 17th century. The elections may fill the officers in the legislature,
sometime in the executive and judiciary, and for regional and local governments15. The
process of elections also used in other private and business organisations, clubs, voluntary
associations and corporations. The universal use of elections as a tool for selecting
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representatives in modern democracies is in contrast with the practice in the democratic


archetype, ancient Athens. Elections were considered an oligarchi institution and most
political offices were filled using sortition, also known as allotment, by which officeholders
were chosen by lot.16 Electoral reforms describe the process of introducing fare electoral
system where they are not in place, or improving the fairness or effectiveness of existing
systems.
The election was used as early in history as ancient Greece and ancient Rome,
and throughout the medieval period to select rulers such as the roman Emperor and the pope.
The modern election, which consists of public elections of government officials, didnt
emerge until the beginning of the 17th century when the idea of representative government
took hold in North America and Europe. In the early voting system always we can see the
domination of the minority groups. Male, the dominate cultural group in North America and
Europe, often dominated such as Great Britain and the United states were dominated by
landed or ruling class males. However, by 1920 all West European and North American
democracies had universal male suffrage and many countries began to consider womens
suffrage. Despite legally mandated universal suffrage for male s, political barriers were
sometimes erected to prevent fair access to election. In the democratic political systems, there
are different types of elections we can see. Some common types of elections are following
them:

Presidential election

General election

Primary elections

By election

Local election
When we talk about election or democracy then comes another important term

is vote or suffrage. The term suffrage came from Latin word suffragium, means voting
tablet, and figuratively right to vote. Suffrage is the civil right to vote, or the exercise of
that right. It is also called political franchise. Suffrage or vote may apply to elections, but
extends to initiatives and referendums. Vote is used to describe not only the legal right to
vote, but also to the practical question of the opportunity to vote, which is sometimes denied
those who have a legal right
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In most democracies, eligible voters can vote in the elections of representatives. In every
country have some eligibility for people to vote the election. Most of the countries have
provided the voting opportunity is based on age of the citizens. In the world politics we can
see different types of suffrage some of them are following:
Universal suffrage means the right to vote is not restricted by race, gender,
belief, colour, wealth or social status. It typically does not extend a right to vote to all
residents of a region, distinctions are frequently made in regard to relationship, age, and
occasionally mental capacity or criminal convictions. The Corsican Republic (1755 1769)
was the first country to grant limited universal suffrage for all inhabitants over the age of 25.
On the basis other experiments in the Paris Commune of 1871 and the island republic of
Franceville (1889) and then by New Zealand in 1893. Finland was the first European country
to grant to universal suffrage to its citizens in its 1906 elections, and the fist country in the
world to make every citizen eligible to run for parliament
Women suffrage is the right of women to vote the same terms as men. This is
the goal of the suffragists and the suffragettes.
Equal suffrage sometimes confused with equal suffrage and universal suffrage,
although its meaning is the removal of graded voter could possess a number of voters in
accordance with income, wealth or social status.
Census suffrage other name of census suffrage is censitary suffrage. It is
opposite of equal suffrage, meaning that the vote cast by those eligible to vote are not equal
but are weighed differently according to the persons rank in the census. E.g., people with
high income have more votes than those with small incomes.
The compulsory suffrage exist, those are eligible to vote are required by law to
do so. Thirty two countries currently practice this form of suffrage17.
In voting each member, having laid down the function of advocate, takes up
that of judge18. The term voting is a familiar one. In election time the term vote gets
importance. The term vote is defined as a method for a group by means of a meeting or
electoral vote in order to make a decision. This method is most commonly found in
democratic and republic governments. It is used to decide on who shall lead the next

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government. In a representative government, the word voting generally implies an election,


thats how an electorate selects the next candidate to lead the government. A vote (singular)
refers to the act of an individual casting their vote to express their support for a particular
political party or a particular candidate who is running for office or a particular policy that is
trying to be introduced.
A voting or electoral system is a method used by voters when they are making
a choice between two or more options either in an election or a national referendum. In most
countries nowadays, the legal minimum age at which you can vote is 18(each country
depends up on their law). Also, in most countries, each member of the public decides whether
or not they wish to vote (voting is voluntary), although in some countries such as Argentina,
Australia, Belgium and Brazil, there is a compulsory voting system in place which legally
requires everyone who is of the legal voting age to cast their votes in general elections and
referendums. In a country like India the voting system is the best way of electing the
representative to the government. Voting is mainly used to electing someone to the some
procession. Also used to make a decision when more than one idea comes.
Today we can see voting is used in different areas and also have different types of votes.
Some of them are following:

Generally voting expresses the wish of the voter, the voting we can see mainly
three types of voting. There are three basic "families" of voting systems: plurality/majority,
proportional representation, and semi-proportional.

All the voting systems within a

particular system tend to produce the same kind of political results and tend to resemble each
other in terms of their general political advantages and disadvantages. The main political
differences are therefore between the families, not within them.
This plurality/majority system of voting is so familiar with Americans. They
are the winner-take-all systems we most often use to elect officials to our local, state, and
federal legislatures. These systems all require the winning candidate to gather either a
plurality or a majority of the votes. We inherited this approach to voting from the British, and
plurality-majority systems are used today primarily in Great Britain and its former colonies,
including the United States, Canada, Australia, and India. The main purpose of these systems
is to represent the majority or plurality of voters in a district, and (with the exception of atlarge voting) to ensure representation of local geographical areas. Four types of plurality18

majority voting systems are described below. The first two are the commonly-used plurality
systems: single-member district and at-large voting. Less common are the two majority
systems that use runoffs: the two-round system, and instant runoff voting.
Proportional representation voting (PR) is the main rival to plurality-majority
voting. Among advanced western democracies it has become the predominant voting system.
For instance, in Western Europe, 21 of 28 countries use proportional representation,
including Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland,
Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
The basic approach of proportional representation is simple: legislators are
elected in multimember districts instead of single-member districts, and the number of seats
that a party wins in an election is proportional to the amount of its support among voters. So
if you have a 10-member district and the Republicans win 50% of the vote, they receive five
of the ten seats. If the Democrats win 30% of the vote, they get three seats; and if a third
party gets 20% of the vote, they win two seat. Electoral system designers have devised
several ways to achieve these proportional results, and so there are three basic kinds of PR
described below: party list, mixed-member, and single-transferable vote (also called choice
voting).
These PR systems were devised to solve the many problems caused by
plurality-majority voting systems. As a rule, PR voting systems provide more accurate
representation of parties, better representation for political and racial minorities, fewer wasted
votes, higher levels of voter turnout, better representation of women, greater likelihood of
majority rule, and little opportunity for gerrymandering
As the term "semi proportional" implies, these voting systems occupy a space
somewhere between plurality-majority systems and proportional representation systems.
They were originally invented to try to solve some of the problems of plurality-majority
voting, particularly the misrepresentation of parties and the lack of representation for political
and ethnic minorities. In general, these voting systems tend to produce somewhat fairer
representation that plurality-majority systems, but less fair representation than fully
proportional systems like mixed-member PR and choice voting.

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Two kinds of semi proportional systems are described below: limited voting
and cumulative voting. Both of these are variations of the at-large voting system described in
the section on plurality-majority voting. Like at-large voting, these two systems use multimember districts and voters have multiple votes. But some modifications are made that
dampen the winner-take-all characteristics of at-large voting and that usually result in a more
proportional allocation of seats among parties19.
Because semi proportional systems are often considered inferior to fully
proportional systems, they find little use worldwide. No country uses the cumulative vote to
elect their national legislature and the limited vote are only used in Spain to elects its senate.
However, these two systems have been used occasionally on the local level in this country. In
the 1980s and 90s, there was a resurgence of interest in the cumulative vote, primarily among
those interested in finding new ways to ensure fair representation for racial and ethnic
minorities. Several towns and counties have now adopted cumulative voting in a response to
these voting rights concerns.
Election system means how the election process is done in the country. Each
county follows different types of election system. The election system deals with
constitutional arrangement, voting system, way of election, and all political parties will come
under. Coming to the Indian electron system, India is a constitutional democracy with
parliament system of government, and at the heart of the system is a commitment to hold
regular, free and elections. The elections determine the composition of the government, the
two houses of parliament, the state and union territory legislative assembly, and local bodies,
and the president and vice-president.
In Indian election system was controlled by the Election Commission of India.
The part XV Article 324 to 329 of Indian Constitution says the powers functions of the Indian
election commission20. Through the first public election (1952) till today the election
commission control the Indian election system.
Election provides an opportunity to the people to express their faith in the
government from time to time and change it when the need arises. Elections symbolise the
sovereignty of the people and provide legitimacy to the authority of the government. Thus
free and fair election is essential for the success of democracy, other ways we there is no
meaning to democracy. Since 1952, the country witnessed elections to the legislative bodies
20

at both national as well as state levels. The electoral system in India is hamstrung by so many
snags and stultifying factors. Such as maladies encourage the anti-social elements to jump
into the electoral system. Our electoral system was largely free from any major flaw till the
fourth general elections. The distortions in its working appeared for the first time, in the fifth
general election and these got multiplied, in the successive elections, especially in those held
in the eighties and thereafter.
The problems related to election, always created negative attitude in peoples
mind. The malpractices in the elections will decline the purity of the election and people turn
away from the politics also. We must try to avoid these types of problems and clear the
election system. On these reasons election commission introduced electoral reformation. It
will help to remove the obstacles and conduct free and fair elections. On the basis a number
of recommendations and remedies introduced by the election commission for clear the
election system. And also few committees will set up for the electoral reformation these are
The Tarkunde Committee 1975, The Goswami Committee 1990, and The Indrajit Gupta
Committee 199821
For the electoral reformation government and election commission introduced different
package in the years 1987, 1993, 1996, 1998. In the year 1996 the Election Law also
underwent some important changes, through the Representation of People (Amendment) Act
1996. Some of the important changes are as under:
Disqualification on conviction under the Prevention of Insults National Honour Act 1971.
Increase in security deposits and number of proposes.
Restriction on contesting election from more than constituencies.
Listing of names of candidates.
Death of a candidate.
Prohibition of going armed to or near polling station.
Grant of paid holiday to employees on the day of poll.
Prohibition on sale, etc. of liquor.
Time limit for holding by election22.
In every election commissioners period he submitted at least one electoral
reform proposal. Fortunately or unfortunately, most of the time government rejected the

21

proposal. In 2001 the election commission submitted a set of

electoral reform to the

government of India. That time the proposal was rejected. Then resubmitted in 2004 that
time also same thing happened. At that time one NGO called Peoples Union for Civil
Liberties submitted a cause to the Supreme Court of India. Then case went on more than
eight years and finally the 2013 September 27th the Supreme Court of India approved to
introduce the negative voting in the Indian election system23. The election commission
establish the negative voting in the elections as an electoral reform. Always electoral reforms
try to purify the current election system. Thus, Court accepted the argument of the Peoples
Union for Civil Liberties, it will help to avoid the criminals enter into the governmental
power and also voter can do vote totally freely.
Negative voting (NOTA) stands for None of the Above. NOTA is also
known as against all or a scratch vote, is a ballot option in some jurisdictions or
organizations, designed to allow the voter to indicate disapproval of all of the candidates in a
voting system24. Coming up of negative voting bring one more option to the voters. It allow
to the voters to select any one candidate from the ballot paper or Electronic Voting Machines
or reject the all candidate from the constituency. Voting upon a candidate is, essentially
voting upon a question, entailing therefore the vote negative as well as the vote affirmative,
in accordance with the negative or affirmative solution of which is susceptible. This forms the
important idea behind the implementation, that negative voting is it will help to express the
wish of the voter. In early times there is no such option like negative voting, that days voter
choose one candidate from the ballot paper, otherwise make null voter. That time only less
number of voters used the right of voting because in Indian context the trend is that the
political candidates with criminal background. According to the national election watch
association for democratic reforms, in the 15th Lok Subha, we can see 162 PMs are related
with criminal cases, and then in the 162PMs, 76 MPs are related with very high crimes 25. So
voters will think what is the point of voting we choosing only criminals from the give list
there is no use. Better to leave from the voting system. But after 2013 September 27, the
voters of the India have one more option in the ballot paper or Electronic Voting Machines at
the last button or box.
The mechanism of negative voting, thus, serves a very fundamental and
essential part of a vibrant democracy. In the world today we can see 13 countries (excluding
India) are allowed the negative voting in the elections. In different countries its known as in
22

different names. The negative voting was fist time used in 1976, California, UAS during
election of municipal advisory council in Isla Vista. In 1991 elections that led to the break up
of the Soviet Union, the Soviet version of "none of above" led to new elections with new
candidates in 200 races of the 1,500-seat Congress of Peoples Deputies. More than 100
incumbents representing the Communist Party of Soviet Union were defeated in the run-off,
leading to Boris Yeltsin to later say the "none of the above" option "helped convince the
people they had real power even in a rigged election, and played a role in building true
democracy. It was also applicable in Pakistan for some time, but Pakistani Election
Commission withdrawn it. There is also a Political Party named after NOTA formed in 2010.
It is very much famous on facebook. Interestingly, the party won 1 seat in 2012, National
Assembly of Serbia26.

Following countries have provided for neural/protest/negative voting in their election system:

Sl. No

Name of the Country

Method of Voting

Form of
Negative Vote

1.

France

Electronic

NOTA

2.

Belgium

Electronic

NOTA

3.

Brazil

Ballot Paper

NOTA

4.

Ukraine

Ballot Paper

NOTA

5.

Chile

Ballot Paper

NOTA

Ballot Paper

NOTA

6.

Bangladesh

23

7.

State of Nevada, USA

8.

Greece

Ballot Paper

NOTA

Ballot Paper

NOTA
Blank Vote

9.

Finland

Ballot Paper

And/or write in*


Blank Vote

10.

Sweden

Ballot Paper

And/or write in*


Blank Vote

11.

United States of

Electronic/Ballot

America

(Depending on State)

And/or write in*

12.

Colombia

Ballot Paper

Blank Vote

13.

Spain

Ballot Paper

Blank Vote

* Write-in The write-in form of negative voting allows a voter to cast a vote in favour of any fictional
name/candidates27.

In Indian political system Negative Voting, (NOTA) took more than 12 years
to come to existence. In that period the NOTA has gone through different faces and at last it
came into the reality. The journey of NOTA started the in the year 2001, the Election
Commission of India submitted a proposal to Government of India in 2001 December 10 th to
introduced the Negative/Neutral vote in the ballot paper. The proposal was like that In the
ballot paper and on the ballot unit, after the particulars relating to the last candidate, there
should be provisions for a column `none of the above to enable a voter to reject all
candidates if he so desires26. But government didnt accept the proposal. The in year 2004
July 30th again the election commission reiterated submits the proposal for the negative vote.
But that time also same response from the government side. In that time one NGO called
Peoples Union for Civil Liberties submit a writ petition against the Union of India. The main
argument by the writ petition is, under Article 32, of the Constitution of India, has been filled
by the petitioners herein challenging the constitutional validity of Rules 41(2) & (3) and 49-O
of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 (in short the Rules) to the extent that these
24

provisions violate the secrecy of voting which is fundamental to the free and fair elections
and is required to be maintained as per Section 128 of the Representation of the People Act,
1951 and Rules 39 and 49-M of the Rules. And also violation of the right to secrecy, are not
only ultra vires to the said Rules but also volatile of Articles 19(1) (a) and 21 of the
Constitution of India besides International Covenants28.

The main comments about this petition is, on 23.02.2009, a Division Bench of
this Court, on an objection with regard to maintainability of the writ petition on the ground
that right to vote is not a fundamental right but is a statutory right, after considering Union of
India vs. Association for Democratic Reforms and Anr. (2002) 5 SCC 294 and Peoples
Union for Civil Liberties vs. Union of India (2003) 4 SCC 399 held that even though the
judgment in Kuldip Nayar & Ors. vs. Union of India & Ors. (2006) 7 SCC 1 did not overrule
or discard the ratio laid down in the judgments mentioned above, however, it creates a doubt
in this regard, referred the matter to a larger Bench to arrive at a decision29.
The final verdict came about writ petition (civil) No. 161 of 2004, on 2013 September 27th by
the Supreme Court Judges P.Sathasivan, (Chief Justices of India), Ranjana Prakash Deasi and
Ranjan Gogol (Judges). The land mark verdict of Apex Court is, citizens have right to cast
negative vote rejecting all candidates contesting polls, a decision which would encourage
people not satisfied with contestants to turn up for voting and directed the Election
Commission to provide none of the above option at the end of the list of candidates in
electronic voting machine (EVMs) and ballot papers to allow voters to reject those contesting
polls. In the process court struck down the constitutionality of Rules 41(2), 41(3) and 49(0) of
the conduct of Election Rule.
On 13 October 2013, The Election Commission OF India ordered of Chief
Electoral Officers Of all State and Union Territories to provide for NOTA option in
electronic voting machines (EVMs) and ballot papers. NOTA votes will also b counted and
show in the final result. Now 16 candidates can be accumulated on the electronic voting
machines, so in the case of full 16 candidate listing, extra electronic voting machines to be
allow in order to provide NOTA option. It is also necessary to mention that if NOTA votes
outnumbered all the candidates contesting elections then in that case, candidate with most no.
of votes will be declared as winner. And also the negative voting was implemented in the last
legislative assembly elections in the Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and
Mizoram30.

25

The main highlights of the judgement:


1. Citizens have right to cast negative vote rejecting all candidates contesting polls.
2. Election Commission to provide 'none of the above options' at the end of the list of
candidates in electronic voting machines (EVMs) and ballot papers.
3. Negative voting would foster purity and vibrancy of elections and ensure wide
participation: SC
4. Negative voting would lead to systemic change in polls and political parties will be forced
to project clean candidates: SC
5. Concept of negative voting is prevalent in 13 countries and even in India; parliamentarians
are given an option to press the button for abstaining while voting takes place in the House.
6. If right to vote is statutory right, right to reject candidate is fundamental right of speech
and expression under Constitution: SC.
7. Negative voting would put unscrupulous elements and impersonators out of the polls: SC
8. Secrecy of votes cast under the no option category must be maintained by the Election
Commission.
9. No light thrown on a situation in case the votes cast under no option head outnumber the
votes got by the candidates31.

Endnotes:
1. Miroslav Kolar, What is Democracy, 17 August 2005, Whatisdemocracy. Net, 12
December 2013.
http://whatisDemocracy.htm.html
2. M.L. Ahuja, General Elections in India Electoral Politics, Electoral Reforms and
Political Parties, ( New Delhi : Icon Publications, 2005) 1.
3. Dr. Viplav, Encyclopaedia of Electoral Reforms and Political Development Vol.
V, ( Delhi : Vista International Publishing House, 2010) 145.
4. Vincent Ostrom, Meaning of Democracy and the Vulnerability of Democracy (
USA : University of Michigan, 1997) 3.
5. Robert A. Dahl, INA Shapiro, Jose Antonio Cheibub, ed., The Democracy
Sourcebook ( Cambridge : MIT Press, 2003) 206

26

6.

Dr. Viplav, Encyclopaedia of Electoral Reforms and Political Development Vol.


V, 146.

7. Dr. Viplav, Encyclopaedia of Electoral Reforms and Political Development Vol.


V, 146.
8. Dr. Viplav, Encyclopaedia of Electoral Reforms and Political Development Vol.
V, 147.
9. Clair J. Grecc, Upon Negative Votin. A Paper Read at Meeting of the National,
( London : W W Head Victoria Press, 1869) 5.
10. Lawmanns, Constitution of India ( New Delhi : Kamal Publishers, 2012 ) 9
11. T.S. Krishna Murthy, Proposed Electoral Reforms, ( New Delhi : Election
Commission of India, 2004 ) 9.
12. T. Ramakrishnan, Negative Voting Will Force Parties to Nominate Better
Candidates, 27 September 2013, The Hindu, 10 November 2013.
http://thehindu.htm.html
13. Lawmanns, Constitution of Indian, 9.
14. Lawmanns, Constitution of Indian, 12.
15. Dr. Viplav, Encyclopaedia of Electoral Reforms and Political Development Vol.
I, ( Delhi : Vista International Publishing House, 2010) 1.
16. Dr. Viplav, Encyclopaedia of Electoral Reforms and Political Development Vol.
I, 1.
17. Dr. Viplav, Encyclopaedia of Electoral Reforms and Political Development Vol.
I, 1-4.
18. Clair J. Grecc, Upon Negative Votin. A Paper Read at Meeting of the National,
5.
19. RL Library, Types of Voting System, 8th April 2005, types, 15 December 2012.
http://typesofvote.htm.thml
20. Lawmanns, Constitution of India ( New Delhi : Kamal Publishers, 2012 ) 137-139.
21. Dr. Viplav, Encyclopaedia of Electoral Reforms and Political Development Vol.
V, 267.
22. M.L. Ahuja, General Elections in India Electoral Politics, Electoral Reforms and
Political Parties, 30-33.
23. T. Ramakrishnan, Negative Voting Will Force Parties to Nominate Better
Candidates, 27 September 2013, The Hindu, 10 November 2013.
http://thehindu.htm.html
27

24. Gyanavatika Team, What is NOTA? Does it means Right to Reject? Full Study of
VVPAT, 15 November 2013, Gyanavatika, 10 January 2014.
http://gyanavatika.com.htm.html
25. Dr. O.K. Muraly Krishana, Negativ vote; Provide Right to Speech, Harisree
Vol.2 (2014) : 10.
26. http://gyanavatika.com.htm.html
27. Peoples Union for Civil Liberties v. Union of India. Writ Petition (civil) No.161 of
2004 47-48. Supreme Court of India. 2013.
28. Peoples Union for Civil Liberties v. Union of India. Writ Petition (civil) No.161 of
2004 1-2. Supreme Court of India. 2013.
29. Peoples Union for Civil Liberties v. Union of India. Writ Petition (civil) No.161 of
2004 3. Supreme Court of India. 2013.
30. http://gyanavatika.com.htm.html
31. India Times, Supreme Court Gives Voters Right to Reject Candidates, 27
September 2013, timesindia.com. 2 December 2013.
http://timesindia.com.htm.html/

28

Chapter 2
NOTA and Assembly Election 2013

After the implementing negative voting in the five states, Chhattisgarh, Delhi,
Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Mizoram the five states, and one legislative assembly seat in
Tamil Nadu conducting the state legislative assembly election implementing the same
process. These elections were something different from the previously conducted elections,
because in these elections we can see the voters have one more option available for them to
choose in the ballot paper or Electronic Voting Machine it is None of the Above. After the
polling process got over, all are anxiously awaiting for the result because, no one can predict
what the election results will turn out to be, because the negative voting is being introduced
for the first time in the Indian election scenario .On 8th December 2013 the result of five
legislative assembly and one by-election came and nothing unexpected happened. The
negative voting could not make any changes in the Indian election system. Coming to each of
the legislative constituency, we find that out in 99% of the constituency only less than 5% of
the total vote cast were cast as negative votes1. So we can say it does not make any
considerable change in the Indian election system. In this chapter, I try to make any analysis
of the trend of negative voting in the five legislative assembly constituencies elections
conducted in November 2013.
Chhattisgarh
Chhattisgarh is one of the new states which were carved out Madhya Pradesh
on November 1st 2001. The Chhattisgarh is bounded by southern Jharkhand and Orissa in the
east; Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra in the west; Uttar Pradesh and western Jharkhand in
the north and Andhra Pradesh in the south. Total population of this state is 25,540,196 and
the literacy rate is 71.04%for male and 81.45% for females 2. More than 80% of the
population of Chhattisgarh depends on agriculture. It has a higher population of scheduled
Tribes and Scheduled Castes. Tribals constitute about 32.5% of the total population of the
state3. The area under cultivation is 43%, and 46% of the total area in the state is covered
with thick forest. The rest is largely rocky leaving little scope for agricultural land. Main
crops are paddy, wheat, maize, groundnut, pulses and oil seeds. The state is however rich in
mineral resource like copper, coal, iron, limestone etc. it is a new state so it has only small
29

political experience as a state. BJP and Congress are the main political parties in the state and
BSP, NCP has their own power in some areas. It has a 90 member legislative assembly4.
Delhi
Delhi is the national capital of the India after 1947. In the early days Delhi
known as a union territory, but later December 1991 it got the statues of state. Total
population of the state is 16,753,235 and the literacy rate of the state is: male 91.03% and
female 80.93% 5. Delhi is and plays a central part of the Indian politics. Delhi is the only one
state in India which can discuss the regional, national and international issues; and it is this
factor that always is reflected in the general elections of the region. It is one of the biggest
metropolitan cities in the country. It has a large number of migrants from the various parts of
the country for seeking jobs and other needs. It is situated northern part of the country and
surrounded by Haryana on all sides, except the east where it borders with Uttar Pradesh. It is
the largest commercial centre in northern India and also the largest centre of small scale
industries. The Congress, BJP, JD, AAP are the major current political parties. Recently the
2013th legislative assembly election the new political party Aam Aadmi Party did excellent
performance, creating history. The state has a 70 member legislative assembly.

Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh is geographically the central part of the country. The
undivided Madhya Pradesh was founded on November 1, 1956. In its present form, it came
into exist on November 1, 2000 following its bifurcation to create a new state of
Chhattisgarh. The population of the state is 72,597,565 and the literacy rate is 70.63%6. The
state has an unexceptional 5% Muslim community, and the rest of the dominant communities
are Jains who constitute 1%, Schedule Cast 14 % and Schedule tribe 22% . Madhya Pradesh
is one of the leading states in the country in mineral product like coal, bauxite, and iron-ore.
But agriculture is the mainstay of the state economy. 74.73% of total population lives in rural
areas7. But also state has entered the era of high-tech industries, such as petrochemicals,
electronics, telecommunications, automobiles etc. Madhya Pradesh is bound by Chhattisgarh
in the east, Rajasthan and Gujarat in the west, Uttar Pradesh in the north and Maharashtra in
the south. In the political history of the state, the first decade was dominated by the congress
and later lost his power and BJP came into power. The main political party in the state is BJP,

30

INC, Samajwadi Party, BSP, CPI-M, NCP, and JU-D. It has a 70 member legislative
assembly.
Mizoram
Mizoram is a mountainous region and lies between Myanmar in the east and
the south and Bangladesh in the west. It occupies an area of great strategic importance in the
north-eastern corner of India. The state has great natural beauty and an endless variety of
landscape. It is rich in its fauna and flora. The Mizos belong to the Mongolian race. 94% of
the community is dominated by the scheduled tribes and Lushais constituting 71% and
Chakams 10% are the major tribes in the state8. Mizoram became the 23rd state of Indian
union in February 1987. 1,091,041 is the population of the state. The literacy rate is 91.58%9.
Above 60 per cent of the people of Mizoram are engaged in agricultural pursuits. The entire
Mizoram is a notified backward area and is categorised under no industry district.
However, concerted efforts were made in the last decade to accelerate the growth of
industries in Mizoram. The Mizo National Front is the powerful political party in the state
and other political parties are INC Mizoram Peoples Conference, Zoram Nationalist Party,
Hmar Peoples Convention, Maraland Democratic front. Mizorams legislature strength is 40
seats.
Rajasthan
Rajasthan is the biggest state in the India area based. Rajasthan is always
known as Rajputana or the home of Rajputs a martial community which ruled over this area
for centuries. The history of Rajasthan dates back to prehistoric times. Around 3000 and 1000
BC, it had a culture akin to that of the Indus valley civilization. The 17.29% of the Rajasthan
community dominated by scheduled castes and 12.44% is scheduled tribes, 12% Jats,
Vaishya, Rajputs and Brahmins are come under 8% of the total population10. The total
population of Rajasthan is 68,621,012, and literacy rate is 67.06%11. The economic back of
the state is endowed with a rich culture, Rajasthan is rich in minerals and is fast emerging on
the industrial scene of the country. The state has rich deposits of zinc concentrates, emerald,
garnet, gypsum, silver ore, asbestos, feldspar and mica. The fist export promotion industrial
park of the country has been established and made operational at Sitapura. The feudalistic
forces, casteism and regionalism have played a dominant role in the state politics. Feudalism
and feeling of regionalism have created a big confidence and support to the political leaders
and always caste is used as a way of getting more votes in the elections. Main political parties
31

in the state are BJP, INC, Indian National, Lok Dal, BSP, JD-U, CPI-M, Lok Jan Shakti
Party, and Rajasthan Samajik Nyaya Manch. The legislative assembly strength is 200.
In the five legislative assembly election the negative voting did not make any
change in the election result. As we go through each of the constituency, we can understand
how many voters made use of the NOTA in the election. In generally we can say in each say
in each constituency less than 5% of the total voters used the negative voting facility. So we
can say negative voting gained no such important status in that election as it was expected to.
Coming to each of the state legislative assembly constituency, we can understand the real rate
of voting in the each constituency by looking through the statistics provided by the Election
Commission of India. Firstly we go through the state: Chhattisgarh and we will find out the
rate of NOTA using in the last election. Following table shows the NOTA vote obtained in
each of the state legislative constituency assembly.

NOTA vote polls in Chhattisgarh assembly election 2013

Sl.No
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19

Name of the Constituency


Abhanpur
Ahiwara
Akaitara
Ambikapur
Antagarh
Arang
Bikunthpur
Balada bazaar
Basna
Bastar
Beltara
Bemetaru
Bhanupratappur
Bharatpur-sonhat
Bhatapura
Bhatgon
Bhila nagar
Bjiapur
Bilaigarh
32

Number of
votes
obtained by
NOTA
4071
4575
3503
4327
4710
3588
3265
5592
4642
5529
1607
2424
5680
3971
5290
4480
3390
7179
4877

20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61

Bilaspur
Bilha
Bindranawagarh
Chandrapur
Chitrakot
Danteware
Dhamtari
Dharamjaigarh
Dharsiwa
Dondilahara
Dongargaon
Dongargaon
Dwig city
Dug gramin
Gunderdehi
Jagdalpur
Jaijaipur
Janggir champa
Jashpur
Kanker
Kasdol
Katghora
Kawardha
Keshkal
Khairagarh
Khallari
Kharsia
Khujji
Kondagaon
Konta
Korba
Kota
Kunkuri
Kurud
Lailunga
Lormi
Lumdra
Mahasamund
Manendragarh
Marwahi
Masturi
Mohala-manpur

3669
2249
7047
1516
10848
9677
5201
6726
3740
6197
4062
4298
2102
3544
3555
3469
3289
2229
4760
5208
2123
3435
9229
8381
4643
5931
2930
4608
6773
4001
3873
1074
4114
4745
4857
1469
5292
3929
2421
7115
3518
5742
33

62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
81
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89
90

Mungeli
Narainpur
Navagarh
Pali-tamakhar
Pamdariya
Patan
Pathalgaon
Pratappur
Premnagar
Raigarh
Raipur city gramin
Raipur city north
Raipur city south
Raipur city west
Rajnandgaon
Ramanujganj
Rampur
Saja
Sakti
Samri
Samjari balod
Saraipali
Sarangarh
Sihawa
Sitapur
Takhatpur
Vaishali nagar
Pamgarh
Rajim

5025
6731
4865
7059
4283
3240
5533
5814
5731
3882
3882
2424
2126
2357
2042
3594
5881
4529
2620
6118
4102
5410
3319
6063
5996
1557
2670
2907
5673

Going through the table given in the previous pages, we can find out in all
constituencies the number of NOTA vote obtained is above one thousand12. Generally we can
say the average NOTA vote in the state is comes around 3000 votes. When the votes obtained
by other candidates in the constituency is checked, NOTA will come forth or fifth in the
place. That we can interpret the voters not much interested to using negative voting in the
elections. Voters always interested to use their vote to our own favourite person or the
political parties. We can understand this as we go through the whole list of candidate and the
votes obtained, all time the main political parties catch the top level of vote and then only the
NOTA vote will come. The rate of NOTA vote is low because of mostly the unawareness
34

among the voter about the NOTA, as this state has a high rate of population belonging the
Scheduled caste and Scheduled Tribe. There is a greater chance for information about NOTA
being suppressed or withheld as political parties are not at all ready to give publicity about
NOTA. Thats why voters are not much aware about the NOTA and they dont use the
NOTA facility. There is another probability for the decrease of the NOTA vote; it is that the
voters want to select anyone as a representative. So that time also we cant expect the voters
to support more negative votes. One more interesting thing about thing about this election
this is the one state got more negative voting compare to other states. The Chitrakot
constituency assembly is highest in terms of NOTA vote obtained (10848 votes).
NOTA vote polls in Delhi assembly election 2013

Sl.No Name of the Constituency


1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25

Adarsh nagar
Ambedkhar naga
Babarrpur
Badarpur
Badly
Ballimaran
Bawana
Bijwasan
Burari
Chandnichowk
Chhatarpur
Delhi cantt
Deoci *
Dwarka
Gandhinagar
Ghonda
Gokhalpur
Great kailash
Hari nagar
Janakpui
Jangpura
Kalkaji
Karawal nagar
Karol bagh
Kasturba nagar
35

Number of
votes
obtained by
NOTA
777
568
460
704
978
978
1217
688
665
493
718
478
838
729
531
549
1338
639
919
805
555
581
911
768
607

26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67

Kirari
Kondli
Krishna nagar
Laxmi nagar
Madipur
Malviya nagar
Mamgolpuri
Matiamahal
Matiala
Mehruli
Model town
Moti nagar
Mundka
Mustafabad
Najafgarh
Nangloi jat
Nerela
New Delhi
Okhla
Patel nagar
Patparganj
R.K. Puram
Rajinder nagar
Rajouri garden
Rithala
Rohim
Rohtas nagar
Sadar bazar
Samgam vihar
Seelampur
Seemapuri
Shadara
Shakur baste
Shalimar bagh
Sultanpurmajra
Tilak nagar
Timarpur
Trinagar
Trilokpuri
Tughlakabad
Uttam nagar
Vikas puri

534
647
587
562
848
375
839
296
636
657
741
604
734
768
733
1171
931
460
454
903
993
528
552
1194
1023
838
619
607
298
550
723
595
583
922
1232
617
768
548
666
457
1041
1426
36

68
69
70

Vishwas nagar
Wazirpur
Palam

591
665
777

Delhi is the centre of Indian politics. The nature of people and politics from is
comparatively different from the other four states. The most of the population of Delhi are
educated peoples. Most of the time central and state level political problems emerge together
during the election period. In the case of negative voting, as we look through the above chart
we can find out the NOTA vote rate is so less to compare to other three states13. In Delhi only
less than eight constituencies polled more than 1000 NOTA vote. The other 62 constituency
got less than 1000 votes as negative votes. After the announcement of result one article that
came in The Malayala Manorama, is like that negative voting failed in Delhi14. Why this
like a comment came from the news paper is to be looked into. It because most of the
political observers said like that in Delhi NOTA will be utilized by more people, but in reality
something very different happened. A negative vote means, that voter does not like any
candidates from the list, and so they choose NOTA. But in Delhi this election they have the
common political parties and also a new political party called Aam Aadmi Party came into
the election gaining much appreciation. The AAP caught more vote from the voters. The
emergence of AAP gave the people a new hope, a hope that the new party can clear the
politics from the corruption and criminal elements. Thats why I think the voters didnt select
the negative voting in the election. Otherwise without AAP we could have expected in Delhi
more votes to be cast in the negative voting facility during the last legislative election.

NOTA vote polls in Madhya Pradesh assembly election 2013


Sl.No Name of the Constituency

1
2
3
4
5
6
7

Agar
Alirajpur
Alote
Amarpatan
Amarwara
Ambah
Amla
37

Number of
votes
obtained by
NOTA
2141
4188
2545
2968
8232
1029
5465

8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55

Anappur
Ashok nagar
Ashta
Ater
Bandager
Badnawar
Badwana
Bandwaea
Bagli
Banoriband
Baihar
Balaghat
Bamori
Banda
Bandhavgarh
Barghat
Bargi
Barwani
Basoda
Beohari
Berasia
Betal
Bhagwanpura
Bhainsdehi
Bhander
Bhikangaon
Bhind
Bhitrwar
Bhojpur
Bhopaldokshina-pashehim
Bhopal Madhya
Bhopal uttar
Biaora
Bichiya
Bisawar
Bina
Budhni
Burhanpur
Chachode
Chanderi
Chandla
Chatarpur
Chhindwara
Chitrakoot
Chitrangi
Charai
Churhat
Dabara
38

3206
1803
2521
499
1771
2504
2897
4390
2938
3641
4873
1189
2568
2552
4998
3895
3833
7430
1750
4220
4457
3800
5166
7929
1494
3719
1416
983
1964
2503
2013
2337
1777
4846
2405
1620
2247
3925
2760
2196
2450
1825
5049
634
4392
3464
3168
2373

56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
81
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
99
100
101
102
103

Damoh
Datia
Deori
Deotalab
Depalpur
Devasr
Dewas
Dhar
Dharampuri
Dhouhani
Dimani
Dindori
Dr.Ambearkar nagar
Gadarwara
Gandhwani
Garoth
Ghatiya
Ghadadongri
Gohad
Gotegaon
Govindpuram
Guna
Gunnour
Gunnour east
Gunnour rural
Gunnour south
Gurh
Gwalior
Harda
Harsud
Hatpipliya
Hatta
Hoshangatad
Huzur
Ichhawar
Indore 1
Indore 2
Indore 3
Indore 4
Indore 5
Jebalpur cantt
Jebalpur east
Jebalpur north
Jebalpur west
Jabera
Jaisinghnagar
Jaittur
Joora

1758
1762
2296
625
1897
4693
2883
214
3964
3929
961
4925
2248
5460
4817
3331
2206
5926
647
4317
4011
1653
2991
2112
1187
3081
913
2221
3326
3301
2131
2951
2837
2697
1989
2335
4919
1913
2633
2743
2545
2761
3054
3693
3021
4919
1514
1953
39

104
105
106
107
108
109
110
111
112
113
114
115
116
117
118
119
120
121
122
123
124
125
126
127
128
129
130
131
132
134
135
136
137
138
139
140
141
142
143
144
145
146
147
148
149
150
151
152

Jatara
Jaura
Jawad
Jhabua
Jobat
Junnardeo
Kalapipal
Kerera
Kasrawad
Katangi
Keolari
Khandwa
Khargapur
Khargone
Khategaon
Khilchipur
Khurai
Kolaras
Kotama
Kukshi
Kurwai
Lahar
Lakhanadom
Lanji
Maharajpur
Maheshwar
Mehidpur
Maihar
Maihara
Malhargarh
Manapur
Manasa
Mandhata
Mandla
Mandsour
Mangawan
Mauganj
Mehgaon
Morena
Mudwara
Multai
Mungali
Nagada-khacharod
Nagod
Narela
Narsinghgarh
Narsingpur
Nargawali

1755
1142
3464
3126
5689
9412
2047
2866
3572
2234
1653
4314
2534
2232
2312
1633
384
1868
1704
3964
1694
571
5139
2368
1343
1753
2154
904
1434
2140
6262
2449
3119
3401
1908
2215
752
245
979
4333
2921
1364
1463
548
2281
1669
3671
2035
40

153
154
155
156
157
158
159
160
161
162
163
164
165
166
167
168
169
170
171
172
173
174
175
176
177
178
179
180
181
182
183
184
185
186
187
188
189
190
191
192
193
194
195
196
197
198
199
200

Neemuch
Nepanagar
Niwari
Niwas
Panagar
Panadhana
Pandhana
Panna
Pabsemal
Panrasliya
Paraswade
Patan
Pathariya
Pawai
Petlawad
Pichhore
Pipariya
Pohari
Prithvipur
Pusprasyarh
Paghogarh
Raigaon
Rajgarh
Rajnager
Rajpur
Rampur Baghelan
Ratlam city
Ralam rural
Rau
Rehli
Rewa
Sbalagadh
Sallana
Sanchi
Sanwer
Sarangpur
Sardarpur
Satna
Sausar
Sehore
Semariya
Sendheva
Seoni
Seoni malwa
Sewda
Shahpura
Shajapur
Shamshabad

2311
4740
2149
3345
2861
5349
4281
3071
9288
4627
2543
2612
2514
3135
4492
2292
4219
1244
752
5349
2587
2206
2281
3129
3221
689
1477
2970
2697
2126
865
1096
4588
2700
2137
1324
2911
1455
4200
2379
546
4984
1169
3727
743
7214
2401
1488
41

201
202
203
204
205
206
207
208
209
210
211
212
213
214
215
216
217
218
219
220
221
222
223
224
225
226
227
228
229
230

Sneopur
Shivpuri
Shujalpur
Sidhi
Sihora
Silwanj
Singarouli
Sirmaur
Sironj
Sohagpur
Sonkatch
Sumaoli
Surkhi
Susner
Suwasra
Tarana
Tendukheda
Teonthar
Thandla
Tikamgarh
Timarni
Udaipara
Ujjain north
Ujjain south
Vipisha
Vijaypur
Vijayaraghavgarh
Waraseohin
Mandhata
Sagar

1834
2720
3002
2761
4697
1009
1124
467
2224
3256
2617
9624
1558
2292
3014
2070
2234
435
3917
669
3991
3123
2575
2311
1368
2019
4112
2013
3119
1385

In this table we can find that out how many of the votes cast were negative
votes in the Madhya Pradesh state legislative constituency15. The number of negative vote in
this constituency is not much different from the other states. Of the 230 constituencies, the
rate of negative in most of the states is less than 5% of the total vote of the constituency. It
means that in Madhya Pradesh also the rate of polling in the NOTA is very less. Why the rate
of negative voting went down in this state is that: 70% of the population lives in rural area.
So there is a chance that most of the voters are not aware of the negative voting. But
comparing Delhi and Mizoram the rate to negative voting in the state is little higher in
Madhya Pradesh. But even so, it also doesnt make any change in the result. In all the
constituencies the number of negative vote cast, stands behind the number of votes of the
political parties won.

42

NOTA vote polls in Mizoram assembly election 2013

Sl.No Name of the Constituency

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40

Aizawal North -i
Aizawal East -i
Aizawal East-ii
Aizawal North-ii
Aizawal North-iii
Aizawal South-i
Aizawal South-ii
Aizawal South-iii
Aizawal West-i
Aizawal West-ii
Aizawal West-iii
chaifilh
Champhai North
Champhai South
Dampa
East Tuipui
Hachhek
Hrangturzo
kolasib
Lawngtla East
Lawngtla West
lengteng
Lunglei -East
Lunglei -North
Lunglei -South
Lunglei -West
Manit
Palak
Saola
Serchhip
Serlui
South tuipui
Tawi
Thorang
Tuichang
Tuichawng
Tuikum
Tuirial
Tuivawl
West tuipui
43

Number of
votes
obtained by
NOTA
115
85
93
123
82
80
120
78
136
74
91
123
105
68
81
64
56
56
122
86
150
46
97
36
83
81
151
72
61
65
155
49
84
169
100
167
78
103
43
55

Mizoram is the smaller of the states within the five states in the scope of study, based
on area of land. The rate of negative vote also it is very low in this state. As we go through to
the table we can find out that the number of votes obtained as negative votes16. The table
shows that only very few voters have used NOTA in this election. As we can see only 12
constituencies have more than 100 votes cast through NOTA, in the other 32 constituencies
NOTA obtained less than 100 votes. Through this account, we can understand in this state
most of the voters are not much aware or interested about the NOTA compared to other
states. Another thing to be noted is that in this state most of the people belong to scheduled
tribes so have their own political party called Mizo National Front. Though majority of the
population belong to the scheduled tribe, the literacy rate is very high, so it cannot be argued
that most of the population were unaware of the negative voting facility. So it seems to be
obvious that the partys emotional stand took a major role in the decision making of election
procedures of the state. Therefore we can infer that these are the factors limiting the number
of negative vote in this state.
NOTA vote polls in Rajasthan election 2013

Sl.No Name of the Constituency

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18

Adarsh nagar
Ahore
Ajmer north
Ajmer south
Ajmer rural
Ajmer urban
Amber
Anta
Anupgarh
Asind
Aspur
Bagidora
Bagru
Bali
Bamanwas
Bandikui
Bansur
Banswara

Number of
votes
obtained by
NOTA
1264
1031
2357
2342
1896
1666
2504
1976
4046
6020
6535
7259
4089
3623
2710
1754
843
5381

44

19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66

Baran-atru
Bari
Bari sadri
Barmer
Baseri
Bassi
Bayana
Baytoo
Beawar
Beyun
Behror
Bhadra
Bharatup
Bhilwara
Bhim
Bhinmal
Bhopalgarh
Bikaner east
Bikaner west
Bilara
Bundi
Chaksu
Chhabra
Chittorgarh
Chontan
Chomu
Chorasi
Chara
Civil lines
Dag
Danta ramgarth
Dausa
Deedwana
Peey kumher
Degma
Deoli uniara
Dhariawad
Dhod
Dhoipur
Dudu
Dungargarh
Dungarpur
Fatehpur
Ganganagar
Garhi
Ghatol
Gogunda
Gudhamalani

2875
1714
6393
2633
2277
2192
1928
3071
2778
4280
688
882
1102
1897
2600
5667
2666
2178
2121
2488
4716
3139
3347
3118
4050
887
7213
1320
2351
3689
1999
2331
2030
1372
2340
5914
6327
2039
1764
2570
2597
6646
1747
1396
6084
6263
5893
2109
45

67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
81
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
99
100
101
102
103
104
105
106
107
108
109
110
111
112
113
114

Hanumangarh
Hawe mahal
Hindaun
Hindoli
Jahazpur
Jaisalmer
Jaitaran
Jalore
Jamwaramgarh
Jayal
Jhadol
Jhalrapatan
Jhotwara
Jhunjhunu
Jodhpur
Kaman
Kapasan
Karanpur
Karauli
Kathumar
Kekri
Keshoraipatan
Khajuwala
Khander
Khandela
Khanpur
Kherwara
Khetri
Khinwsar
Kishanpole
kishanganj
Kishangur
Kishangurbas
Kolayat
Kota north
Kota south
Kotputli
Kumbhalgarh
Kushalgarh
Lachhmangarh
ladnun
Ladpura
Lalsot
Lohawat
Luni
Lunkaransar
Mahuwa
Makrana

1997
1039
2334
5382
3043
1774
2038
5571
3377
2837
6838
3729
2194
2831
1886
352
5997
1701
1515
573
2598
7230
2397
4381
1474
2874
5978
1332
6056
1498
3400
2540
1722
2951
2002
3018
8213
3255
4121
1548
1677
2629
3963
2944
3322
3973
1752
1902
46

115
116
117
118
119
120
121
123
124
125
126
127
128
129
130
131
132
134
135
136
137
138
139
140
141
142
143
145
146
147
148
149
150
151
152
153
154
155
156
157
158
159
160
161
162
163
164
165

Malpura
Malviya nagar
Madal
Mandalyarh
Mandawa
Manoharthana
Marwarjunction
Masuda
Mavli
Merta
Mundawar
Nadbai
Nagar
Nagaur
Nasirabad
Nathdwara
Nawalgarh
Nawan
Neemkajhana
Nimbahera
Niwai
Nohar
Nokha
Osian
Pachpadra
Pali
Parbatsar
Phalodi
Pilani
Pilibanga
Pindwaraabu
Pipalda
Pokaram
Pratapgarh
Pushkar
Rajgarhlaxmangarh
Raisamand
Ramganjmandi
Ramgarh
Raniwara
Ratangarh
Reodar
Saduipur
Sadulshahar
Sagwara
Sahara
Salumber
Sanchore

3732
2348
5076
4893
1455
3711
4496
2681
2681
2096
825
1151
662
4756
1946
4415
1961
1914
3193
4417
3832
2585
2608
2597
4053
1925
2102
2556
1525
3495
7259
3548
1519
3500
2943
846
3083
3661
1625
2847
2448
6645
1212
2319
5537
3718
5267
2718
47

166
167
168
169
170
171
172
173
174
175
176
177
178
179
180
181
182
183
184
185
186
187
188
189
190
191
192
193
194
195
196
197
198
199
200

Sanganer
Sangaria
Sangod
Sapotra
Sardarpura
Sardarshahar
Sawaimadopur
Shahpura
Shahpura
Sheo
Shergarh
Sikar
Sikrui
Sirohi
Siwana
Sojat
Soorsagar
Srimadhopur
Sujangarh
Sumerpur
Surajyarh
Suraatyarh
Taranagar
Thanagazi
Tijara
Todabhim
Tonk
Udaipur
Udaipur rural
Udaipurwati
Vallabh nagar
Vidhyahhar nager
Viratnagar
Weir
Raising nager

2411
2402
2234
4633
1779
3179
1759
2653
3913
2896
3913
1687
3525
2830
4060
3485
2395
1341
4554
3186
1300
2100
2220
945
805
2459
2715
2860
4590
712
4164
2337
702
1472
2855
17.

Rajasthan also has a rate of negative vote is something similar to the other
states. In Rajasthan also we can find that the rate of negative voting is less than 5% of the
total votes cast. The average range of votes cast as NOTA in Rajasthan is near 3000. In this
state also we can find out negative voting come 4th or 5th in terms of getting vote. But also
they do not make any change in the election results. Why the rate of negative voting goes
down in this state is that most of the election votes are influenced by feudalism, caste and
regionalism which are an important part of state feelings. So this time also we see that these
48

factors played an important role. So negative vote does not work in a proper way. Most of the
voters are so satisfied with current system. So they dont want to change the system. Only
those very few of them who are not interested with the given candidates, they make use of
NOTA.
Coming to the five states and the one bye legislative assembly election in
Tamil Nada in Yercaud (4431 vote for NOTA) are done based on the negative voting18. After
the implementation of the negative voting some political observers are argue that, it will
make some changes in the elections19. But the fist election based on the negative voting got
over but we cant find out any change happening in the elections or even after it. Only, very
few people made use of the NOTA in the states. And most of them are counting the same
way. Comparing the five states we see some variations in the number of votes. But in really it
does not make any change in the current situation. A comparison among these five states,
bring out some similarities and differences in these scenarios. Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh
and Rajasthan, these three states negative voting rate has some similarities. In these three
states most of the constituency negative voting rate is so near to 2000 to 3000. Only in few
constituencies can we find that less than 1000 negative votes being cast. In these
constituencies NOTA came forth or fifth in the number of vote obtain. The other two states,
Delhi and Mizoram the negative votes cast were very low. In most of the constituencies
NOTA came less than 1000 vote. This difference of votes between states is an important
thing; it has to be discussed more. Going deeper into the matter we can understand that in
Delhi new alternative was available for the voter; that is Arm Aami Party. So most of the
voters made use of that new alternative and only few use the NOTA. In Mizoram compared
to Delhi, in most of constituencies the number of negative votes is less than 100 votes. What
happened in Mizoram? I believe that most of the voters were not much aware about the
NOTA or any other thing or that they were not willing to give away their community feeling
of the party of choice.
In the five states NOTA could not and did not come in to the first or second
position in the election. That means now also the major political parties have their own power
in their areas. The judgement and other comments about the NOTA hailing it as a
revolutionary idea that can remove the evils from the power and that it will force the political
parties to put only good eligible candidates in the elections, failed in its primary goal as we
can see from this election results. But I think nothing special will happened in the election.
Why has this happened like this? This result maybe the outcome of voters thinking that
49

through NOTA nothing worthwhile will happened in the field of politics, because now also
whoever gets more number of votes will win the election, no matter what leaving negative
voting as a waste of time and resource. The use of NOTA will help only to lose one vote.
Then why should we use NOTA? Another possibility about the failure of NOTA is that the
voters are not much aware about the negative voting system. Because in the five states except
Delhi, other states most of the population covered with scheduled tribe and scheduled caste,
the awareness or knowledge about such a system of voting and how to use it might have been
lacking or not properly understood. Even the chance to get knowledge about this thing is very
difficult, understanding such a new concept can be rather tiring; and no political parties
provided publicity about negative voting. Therefore, voters did not make use of the negative
vote power in the election conducted recently. These are some of the reasons inferred for the
less rate of negative votes cast in the election.

Endnote:
1. Election Commission of India : http://eciresults.nic.in.html/
2. Manorama Year Book 2013. States of India ( Kottayam : Malayala Manorama Press,
2013) 558.
3. Anil Satapathy, Chhattisgarh : A Profil, 2 November 2013, Zeenews.com Special,
20 March 2013.
http://zeenews.india.com. /Elections08/chhattisgarhstory.aspx?aid=482902.html
4. M.L. Ahuja, General Elections in India Electoral Politics, Electoral Reforms and
Political Parties, ( New Delhi : Icon Publications, 2005) 239.
5. Manorama Year Book 2013, 592.
6. Manorama Year Book 2013, 572.
7. M.L. Ahuja, General Elections in India Electoral Politics, Electoral Reforms and
Political Parties, 303.
8. M.L. Ahuja, General Elections in India Electoral Politics, Electoral Reforms and
Political Parties, 322.
9. Manorama Year Book 2013, 578.
10. M.L. Ahuja, General Elections in India Electoral Politics, Electoral Reforms and
Political Parties, 346.
11. Manorama Year Book 2013, 582.
50

12. Election Commission of India : http://eciresults.nic.in.html/


13. Election Commission of India : http://eciresults.nic.in.html/
14. The Editor, negative voting failed in Delhi, Malayala Manorama 9 December 2013
:8.
15. Election commission of India : http://eciresults.ap.nic.in.html
16. Election commission of India : http://eciresults.ap.nic.in.html
17. Election Commission of India : http://eciresults.nic.in.html/
18. Election Commission of India : http://eciresults.nic.in.html/
19. Debate, Implementation of NOTA, (DD Malayalam : 23 November 2013) Television.

51

Chapter 3
Public Awareness about Negative Voting

This chapter deals with the findings of the survey conducted by the study. The
exhaustive coverage of samples shows interesting information about the Negative voting.
This is collected from the student community of Madras Christian College.
Madras Christian College is one of the famous educational institutions in
India. Madras Christian College does not have one history, but thousands of histories! The
institutions history is so rid and diverse that if one were to dig deep into the layers of its past,
countless images and perspectives of the institution inevitably emerge. One could look at its
growth and development as an educational institution; or its spiritual history and mission as a
Christian institution; its impact on the society and the nation at large or the way it shaped the
lives of countless individuals, both teachers and students; even the impact of its organs such
as Madras Christian College magazine on the contemporary society1. The legacy of 176
years institution is thus a challenging task.
This educational institution was started by the Scottish Missionaries. In the
long history of education, Scotland occupies the pride of a place. The Scots always had an
immense belief in education both for its own sake and means of ones advancement in life.
They never regarded education as a class privilege, but as a sacred right for every child2. The
beginnings of this college from 1835 Rev. Matthew Bowie establish the St Andrews School
in Madras. In 1837 the school shifted to the Black Town on the East side of the American
Street. In that time school offered subjects like English, geography, arithmetic, mathematics,
and algebra, the elements of astronomy and political economy, logic moral philosophy and
natural theology, the evidence and doctrines of Christianity, Tamil and Telugu. The first
annual examination was conducted on 10th January, 1838. The school witnessed rapid growth
and in September 1846 its moves to the new building on Esplanade.
The establishment of Madras University in 1857 challenged the William
Miller to set his academic goals high. Later he takes great decision taken was upgrade the
Central School into the college. In the year 1864 three pupils enrolled into Fist Art
class.(single year course) Then six students appeared for the University Examinations, but
52

only one passed. In year 1866 the FA class 30 enrol and 18 passed the University
Examinations. The Director of Public Instruction commended the progress of the institution
and the institution also got appreciation in the Educational Report of Government of India. So
we can say the academic performance will start still from the beginning3. The general
assembly of 1875 empowered the foreign Missions Committee to carry out this scheme for
the enlargement of the Institution. As these efforts fructified, the Free Church Scottish
Institution was transformed into a co-operative enterprise, and the Central Institution was
renamed as Madras Christian College, on the 1st of January, 18774. Later in 1937 the college
totally move from the George Town to the sprawling Selaiyur Forest in Tambaram.
Madras Christian College always linked with the public. In the year 1916
February 16and 17th were the red letters of the history of the college. 16th February 1916 a
session of YMCA held in the MCC on that meeting Gandhi spoke the aim and objectives of
his satyagrahashram. Ones again Gandhi visited the college and chair a joint debate session
organized under the MCC Associated Societies held in Anderson Hall on the topic Shall the
Vernaculars be the media of Instruction in our schools and colleges?5.
Without fear we can say Madras Christian College produced a huge number of
great persons to the society. These persons are played vital role in the different areas.
Servepalli Radhakrishnan on of the Indias greatest philosopher and in the year 1962 he
become the president of Indian Republic. The J.Ramakrishna Pillai the devoted sons of the
college his is a great poet. Prakash Karat, he is one of the excellent students in the MCC.
Now he is the general security CPI(M), formal Election Commissioner T. N. Sesion, are
some names to emphasis, but we can see so many personality are related with religious
leaders, scientists, historians, economist, civil servants film actors and so and so many of
them have come out from the Madras Christian6. On the basis we can say, there is a good
kind of environment is creating by this institution and it will help to the students
encouragement and maintain a good mind set.
Madras Christian College also has a political culture. The College conducts
college election in every year. It is purely based on the democratic way. Students get the
opportunity to conduct election and they also have to vote. This process helps the students to
understand the election process and also equip them to maintain the leadership quality. It also
helps the students to understand the important of voting in the election. Thus, madras
Christian college transfer a political culture to the student community.
53

The reason why I selected this college as a sample area is, this colleges
student community is mini-version of India. Because in Madras Christian College, student
strength is near 6000 in these 6000 students we can see different types of students, like North
East students, most of states are represented by the students and also we can see some
international students. On the basis of this we can say Madras Christian College is a mix of
culture, belief, traditions and so on, So that, the area of this survey is very apt. The reason for
that is we will get different ideas from students. My subject of this survey is negative voting,
it is something newly introduced in Indian election system. Actually, I want to know the
opinions of every Indian but in practically, it is very difficult, but in Madras Christian
College it is possible because it is a small India.
This study was done in a scientific way. This study is done by well prepared
questionnaire consisting of both open-ended and closed-ended questions which are designed
in such a way that once you answered it the mindset of the average student will be examined.
The questionnaire consist of 27 questions, within the 27 questions two questions regarding to
personal information, 19 questions are closed ended question and six questions are open
ended questions. Through the data collection I used probability sampling method, because I
want to give equal chance to all the students in the Madras Christian College. In probability
sampling method again I selected simple random sampling, because it is so easy to compare
this to other method of sampling and also there is a chance to get most of the different verities
of students in the Madras Christian College.
My data collection the sampling size is 100. I meet 100 students in the college
for the data collection. In 100 size of sample, there is a proportion of 50:50 in the gender
division between boys and girls. There 100 samples were 60 samples of students representing
from the day college and 40 sample from the evening college. Another division within the
sample is 70 samples from the under graduate, 25 samples from the post graduate and 5
samples from M .Phil/ Ph. D from the Madras Christian College. Another division within the
sample is based on the hall residence and students who are stayed outside the campus. The
reason why included such a division is, Madras Christian College follows a great tradition of
hall system in the campus and nearly one thousand students are staying within the five halls,
thats why I included the hall as a part of sample. I take 30 samples from the hall residents
and 70 samples from the students who are staying outside the campus. The next division
within the sampling survey is based on the native place of the students. The Madras Christian
College student community are coming from different places of the India and also from
54

abroad. So I selected the samples 50 from Tamil students, 20 samples from the North East
students and 30 samples from other students like students from Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra
Pradesh, etc.
Some of the important questions in the questionnaire, that elicited trend setting responses
may be scrutinised.
The first and second questions in the questionnaire are a general question about the
brief introduction about the respondents gender, department and stream. This information
will help to classify the response of the respond based on different parameters.
The response to the third question regarding whether the respondent enrolled
your name in the voters list elicited a mixed response. 71% of the respondents have enrolled
their names in the voters list. But 29% of respondents due to the number of reasons fail to
enlist in the voters list. 5% the respondents who is not interested to enrolled their name in the
voters list. 2% of respondents argued that they are totally against the current political system.
So there is no use to enrol their names in the voters list. 2% of the respondent who could not
put their name in the voters list were unaware of existence of such a list and the need to go
through a procedure to make their names a part of list. Lastly 20% claimed they have some
other reasons like they did not attain 18 years of age, some others said I was out of the place
in the particular enrolment time, therefore some respondents did not enrol their names in the
voters list.
3.1 Whether respondents name in the voters list.

No
29%

Yes
71%

55

5% of the students are not interested to enrol their names in the voters list. It
means there is negative attitude created within the students mind about the current election
system they think there is no use of adding their names in the voters list. It uses less and time
consuming process. Another 2% of the students dont enrol their name in the voters list
because; they are totally against the current political system. Most of the todays politics and
politicians are corrupted or dont have a good name in the society. Thats why students
rejecting the politics and thinking like that what is the use of voting. So some of them are not
registered their name in the voters list. 2% of student s not aware about the enrolment of
name in the voters list it is a sad thing. Because college students means there are the youth of
the nations and tomorrows leaders. Thats why they are failing to enlist their name in the
voters list; it is a matter of grave concern. The students at college level is expected to aware
of the time and need to enter their names in voters list in order to eligible to excise their
franchise.
3.2 Cause of failure to enrol the name in the voters list.

20%

5%
2%

Not intrested

2%

I am against politics

Not aware about that

Other reasons

On the question, whether the respondent had voted in any previous elections.
The response from the students is mostly equal. 46% of respondents are use there right of
vote in the previous elections. But 56% of respondent never used their right of votes in any
previous elections. Coming to the second part of this question why they dont use the right of
votes in the previous elections, the response is so different. 4% of the respondents are not
interested to use their right of vote. That means some are not interested or dont like the

56

todays democratic system and like ways they think there is no use of voting in the elections.
15% of the respondents are arguing that they are out of place in the election time. This
argument is mostly correct, because most of the MCC students are coming from different
places of the country. So the election time go back to our place and do vote is very difficult
and also there is a chance of thinking that, why do we go to our place and do the vote. This is
not much important thing compared to other things. On this basis I am giving a suggestion
that there is an option if we will introduce the idea postal vote for those who are not present
in that place e.g. Students, employers etc. those who stay away from that place. 35 % of
respondents are using the option of other reasons. In the previous question 29% are not
enrolled their names in the voters. Thats why the rate of other reason will increase.
3.3 Why they failed vote in previous election.

35%

15%
4%

Not intrested

I was out of place

Other reasons

The core part of the questionnaire appears in t this question. How many
students are aware about the negative voting? 59% of respondents are saying there aware
about the negative voting and 41% of respondents are not much aware about the negative
voting system. This question proves that how many students are aware about the current
political system and current affairs. But only through this simple question we cant find out

57

the respondent totally aware about the negative voting. So I ask some more questions
exclusively for those who are say we are aware about the negative voting.

3.4 Awareness about NOTA

Don't know,
59%

Know, 41%

There was question on how the respondents come to know about negative voting.
The 30% of the respondents respond that they know about the negative voting through the
media. Through this respond we can understand the Medias influence in the society and also
the students. Today we can see in all issues which are taken by the media. In this news also
media takes their own role. Coming to the next respond 5% of respondents say the knowledge
about the negative voting is given from the political parties. In this response it is so
interesting because, the implementation of the negative vote is directly affected by political
parties, through this option peoples give an opportunity to reject the all candidates and do
negative voting. So we cant say the political parties dont spread the idea of negative voting
to the peoples. But in general way all political parties support the negative voting. 1% of the
respond say that he go information about the negative voting by the some organization. On
the basis of this response we can say the government organization or nongovernmental do not
give much information about the negative voting system. In this situation there is a need of
publicity from the organizations like election commission, and NGOs. Other ways its dose
not gets much popularity among the voters. Another respond about the knowledge transfer of
negative voting .as 23% say the information of the friends. In the college life or youths we

58

can see a lot friends influences in the life. On the basis we can say good friends will help to
make socialization.
3.5 How they got know about Negative Voting.

30%
30%
25%

23%

20%
15%
10%

5%

5%

1%

0%
Media

Political
parties

Any
organization

Friends

Coming to the next question it tries to analysis the correct knowledge about the
negative voting. Through this question I try to ask the knowledge level of respondent about in
which year the negative voting system implemented in the Indian election system (this
question also exclusive only for those who say yes in the 7th question) 18% of respondent
gave the correct answer to the question and 3% says wrong answer and 35% of respondent
say they dont know about in which year the native voting system implemented in the
election.
3.6 When NOTA was implemented.

I don't know
1998
2009
2012
2013
0%

5%

10%

15%

20%

59

25%

30%

35%

40%

Another question also tries to evaluate the level of knowledge of the


respondent about negative voting. (this question also exclusive only for those who are say yes
in the 7th question) In this question I ask to the respondents now many countries are following
the negative voting. 5% of respondent only gave the correct answer to the question. 54% of
respondent says dont know. Why I ask some deep questions to the respondent is I tried to
understand the real knowledge of the respondent about the negative voting. In some causes
respondent fill the questionnaire was not much serious that time we cant get real answer.
That is the main reason I asked the deep question. Going through the 9th and 10th question we
can find out the respondent have not much deeper awareness about the negative voting. So
we can say peoples have a little idea about the negative voting but most of them dont have
much deeper knowledge about the negative voting.
3.7 Presently how many countries following negative voting.

100%
50%
0%
14

How many countries


following negative voting

10

16

I dont
know

14

10

16

I dont
know

5%

0%

0%

0%

54%

37% of respondent says that the implementation of negative voting will make
some changes in the Indian election system. But 63% of respondents dont believe the
negative vote can make any change in the election system. Why did most of the respondents
think negatively about the election system, it must be put into discussion? I think most
probably most of the respondents think the corruption and other malpractices cant be
removed from the politics. So most of them think the negative voting is useless in nature.
60

3.8 Negative voting makes any changes in Indian election system.

37%

63%
Yes

No

There is an open-ended question regarding to what the changes will come in


the election system through the implementation of negative voting. For this question I got
different types of answers from the respondent. The responses from the side of respondent
are, it will bring more option to the voters, it will help to select or reject the candidate.
Another comment from the respondent is political parties try to leave from the corruptions
and malpractice and also they put good candidates to the election. Another respondent say
that it will help to clear the corruptions from the government because we will select the good
persons. It will also help to remove the criminals from the power. Other opinion is voters can
express their feelings freely and it will give satisfaction to the voters. Another response is that
it helps to increase the number of voters using their franchise. One responded argue that the
implementation of negative voting may reduce people avoiding voting. Most of the
respondents are thinking that the negative voting will make changes in the election system.
The reasons are given by the respondent are also valid because, the election commission and
the Supreme Court argument is also agreed on the argument of the respondent
51% of the respondents argue that the implementation of negative voting will
help to increase the rate of voting in the election. Why did the respondent respond like this?
He may be thinking there is one more option available in the election. So there is a chance for
more voters to use their franchise. But 25% of respondents say it does not make any increase
in the rate of vote. They think that negative voting is not powerful to make any change, we
use negative vote but that time also who got more vote than the other candidate will win in
61

the election. Another 24% of respondents have no opinion about increasing rate of vote
because of the implementation of negative vote.
3.9 Negative voting will help to increase the rate of voting.

No
opinion
24%
Yes
51%

No
25%

Another important question in the questionnaire is about the implementation


of negative voting. Will it help to remove the criminals from the power? In this question there
is an equal response. 36% of respondent support and come against the argument. The main
argument by the Peoples union for Civil Liberty to implement the negative voting was it,
helps to remove the criminals from the power. On this basis the supporting responds say there
is a chance, the political parties will put good candidates to the elections. The supporting
argument says that there is no chance to remove the criminals from the power, because the
negative voting is not powerful to remove the criminals from the power. In the negative
voting only option is do vote or reject the entire candidate. In that time also who gain the
maximum vote he/she will be winning. 38% of respondents have no opinion about the
negative voting. That it will help to remove the criminals from the power? These respondents
stand neutral in this question.

62

3.10 Negative voting can remove criminals from the power

No opinion

No

Yes

35%

36%

36%

37%

37%

38%

38%

39%

The next question to the respondent is will you use negative voting in coming
election? The response of this question is this, 18% of respondents are saying they will use
negative vote in the coming election. Another 28% of respondents say that they will not use
negative vote in coming election. The remaining 54% of respondents are saying that they
have not yet decided about using negative voting in coming election. In this question a
correct answer is very difficult, because it is something personal. The next question is also
related with this question. To them says, we will use negative voting in coming election. Why
they are ready to use negative voting in coming election? The 18% of voters say we use
negative voting only to show the inefficiency of the candidates. These respondents argue that
most of the time the candidates are inefficient. These respondents are not bothering about the
other sides of the candidates like criminal background or corrupted. we can say the people
are looking only the ability of the candidate, because people want only the service of the
representative. Who can able to do good administration he will win in the election, that will
we can understand from this question. Through this answers we can understand the real aim
of the negative voting is not coming out. On the basis we can say there is no use of
implementation of negative voting in the election.

63

3.11 Do you use negative vote incoming election.

Yes
18%
Not yet
decided
54%

No
28%

The next question is do you think negative voting is an essential thing for
Indian election system. 58% of respondents said it is very essential for the Indian election
system, but 14% of respondents said that it is not much important in the election system. And
also 28% of respondents have no opinion about this question. by this question we can
understand, most of the respondents want some changes in the election system and also they
think the negative voting bring some changes also in the current system.
3.12 NOTA are essential to Indian election system.

60%
50%
40%
30%

58%

20%

28%
14%

10%
0%
Yes

No

No opinion

64

This question is very complex one. The question is, the implementation of
negative voting through the judicial activism is necessary? The 24% of respondents are
arguing that it is very essential for the Indian election system. Another 12% of respondents
are saying that is not essential for the Indian election system. The other 64% of respondents
are saying that we dont know about judicial activism. From these responses I understand
most of the respondents dont know or understand the term judicial activism. Because is a
term relate with court. Thats most of them are not familiar with this term. As answering this
question most of the science students chose the option of I dont know. Why did I include this
question in the questionnaire? In Indian law making process most of the laws are made by the
Indian parliament. Sometimes there are only the other agencies to take over the power of law
making. In this case the Supreme Court can make a law on the basis of the case related to the
implementation of negative voting. In that case judiciary acts as a law maker. What I tried to
do here is checking whether this process is essential or not essential. Through this way does it
make any change in the election system?
3.13 Through the judicial activism, implementation of NOTA is necessary.

70%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
Yes

No

I dont know

In this question I tried to find out if any political party or any organization
informs them about negative voting? 10% of respondents from the total said that somebody
inform about the negative voting. But 90% of respondents said that no one didnt inform
about negative voting. Through this question we can understand nobody give the idea of
negative voting to the public. Only few respondents argue that somebody gives information
about negative voting. The election commission of India introduced negative voting as an
electoral reform, it is a good effort. But most of the peoples are not clearly aware about the
65

negative voting. So somebody, like government, election commission or NGOs take


initiative to spread to the public. Other ways there is use for implementation of negative
voting in the election system. In other side political parties are not ready to give information
to the public about negative voting, because it is badly affected the political parties. When
ever more peoples use negative that is threaten to the political parties. In the implementation
of negative voting will leads to make pressure in the political parties to put good candidates
in the elections. Another problem relates with negative is the rate of vote of political parties
will go down. Sometimes it will affect the life of the political party. Because the political
party got its identity like a national party, state party or regional party will decide based on
the vote that got in the elections. The coming of negative vote will make a chance of
challenges to the political parties to lose their rate of vote.
3.14 Anybody inform about negative voting.

10%

Yes
No

90%

This question is open-ended to the respondents. The respondents can give any
opinion about negative voting. When I go through the questionnaire that time I can find out
the different types of opinion about the negative voting. Following are the opinions of the
respondents about negative voting. In this question I got positive and negative answers.
Positive views are following them. One respondent says that is necessity to the current
election system. It means the negative voting is very essential other ways very difficult to run
the democracy. Another comment is it is a good system and it provides more freedom to the
voters. It means negative voting providing more freedom of choose to the voters. After the
66

implementation of negative voting voter can either choose one candidate from the list or
reject all candidates. Another argument is it will make advancement in the current system.
Next opinion is it will help to increase the rate of voting. Because in the old system
sometimes voters are not much happy with using vote because sometime he doesnt like any
candidates and just do vote as name sake, but in current system voter gets self satisfaction
through the using of voting. Another argument is it creates a hope for the feature of Indian
election system. it is small thing but later it will bring big changes in the Indian system.
Negative comments about negative voting are, it is useless thing. The negative voting didnt
make any changes in the elections, because negative voting has no power to do anything in
the current election system. Now we can use negative vote but nothing affects the other
candidates, because now also who achieve more vote than the opposite candidates he wines
in the election. On the basis we cant say it is powerful weapon to for removing the bad
candidate. Another comment about negative voting is it doesnt make any change in the
current system. Considering of negative voting we cant expect any more changes in the
current election system. And some other respondents didnt touch this question also. I hope
that respondents are not much aware about the negative voting.
The next question is negative vote has any draw backs? 28% of respondents
are respond the negative has draw backs. 72% of the respondents are say negative vote has no
draw backs. It means most of the respondents opinion is it very good system and it makes
improvements in the field of election.
This question is also related with the below question. It is an open-ended
question. It enquires the draw backs of the negative voting. From the 28% of respondents I
got different verities of opinions. The opinions which say it wont make any changes in the current
political system. Because it is not a powerful weapon to remove all evils in the Indian election system.
But it will help to remove criminals and corrupted people from power. But it is a utopia, because in
reality negative voting does not have much power. Through the negative voting people can express
their wish only there is no other option. Sometimes it leads to miss use of the voting. In a democracy
every voter are valuable, but the coming up of negative voting there is a chance for miss use of votes.
Only through the negative voting we cant make any change in the election system.

Coming to the next question, it is asking to the respondents are you expecting
more reformation in Indian election system. 64% of the respondents are arguing that there is a
need of reformation in the Indian election system and 36% of respondents are saying that
there is no need of more reformation in the Indian election system. Through this I understand
67

the peoples are not much satisfied with the current election. I think the corruption,
criminalisation, misuse of power etc. among the representatives are the main problem. Thats
why people want to change the system. So, the most of the respondents argue that some changes
can be done through the electoral reformation.
3.15 Negative voting has any draw backs.
70%
64%

60%
50%
40%

36%

30%
20%
10%
0%
Yes

No

Through this question I try to collect the respondents needs of reformation


about the current election system. Some are following: one respondent argue that some more
direct involvements for citizens to select the government. It means people give option to
select the Prime Minister and other ministers and power to recall their representatives and
also give power to people to control or check the works of the representatives. Another
important suggestion from the respondent is control the criminalization of politics and vote
bank politics. In todays sense both two things are very danger in the politics. Today in Indian
parliament 165 representatives are included in different crimes. The vote bank politics is so
popular in these days. All political parties are trying to aim more votes based on caste,
religion etc. This type of political play is not good in a democracy.
Another comment given from the respondent is, provided more informations
about the electoral system. It is very essential thing, because the election commission or
governmental polices didnt know the public. In this negative voting system itself we can
identify the want of providing information about election system. In this survey 41% of
respondents say that they are not aware about the negative voting. On the basis we can

68

imagine, what is the situation about the common people understanding about the election
policies etc.
One interesting suggestion from the respondent side is put some qualifications
(education) for the candidates. This suggestion is good. Based on the some qualification only
we can evaluate the candidate are good or bad. But the problem is this days corruption and
other things are done by educated professionals also. Next suggestion by the same candidate
is cheek the behaviour (character) of the candidate. Then only allow the person to conduct the
election. This suggestion is also good but who can define the character of a person. We can
say easily but in practise it is very difficult to introduce. Another suggestion from the
respondent side is introducing more polling booths in the election time.. Another suggestion
from the respondent is election commission or government must make laws that, like criminal
and corrupted peoples are not allowed to contest in the election. Through this law I hope that
we can control or clear current election system. But law making process is very difficult
because the law will be made by parliament and parliament consists or related with corrupted
or criminal persons. (Not total) In this situation judiciary takes over power and through the
judicial activism introduces laws.
Come to the final questions, it tries to find out that, respondents are satisfied
with the negative voting as a voter. In this question 52% of respondents are arguing that they
are satisfied with negative voting as a voter. But 48% of voters are not satisfied with negative
voting as a voter. The other question is related with this why did 52% of respondents are
satisfied with negative voting. The arguments are people can express their own opinion,
accept or reject the candidates. It provides more freedom to the voters. The old system has
only limited choices. Sometimes it will help the voters to express their feelings. It will help to
increase the rate of voting. Because sometimes negative voting can be used as a method of
protest. Changes is essential to the every system so we can believe it makes a little change in
starting point and we hope in feature it will make huge change.

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3.16 Are you satisfied with negative voting.

No
48%

Yes
52%

The final question in the questionnaire is why 48 % of respondents are not


satisfied with the negative voting. The arguments from the respondents are, it does not make
any changes in the election system. The argument is, our method of negative voting is simply
we can use it but it does not make any impact in the other candidate result. Sometime it is
equal to not voting. Sometimes it leads to wasting the vote. Another argument is we cant
think that it will make any changes in the election system. It is not a powerful weapon to
control the current evils in the election system.
The responses of students were natural and reflect their idea about the negative
voting. Through this study I help to understand the problems of implementation of negative
voting in Indian election system. This survey reflect like that, more people live the negative
and most of them are believe it will help to improve the Indian election system.

Endnote:
1. Joshua Kalapati, and Ambrose Jeyasekaran T. life and Legacy of Madras Christian College
1837 1978. ( Chennai : Zha communications on behalf of the authors, 2010) V.
2. Joshua Kalapati, and Ambrose Jeyasekaran T, life and Legacy of Madras Christian College
1837 1978, 1.

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3. Joshua Kalapati, and Ambrose Jeyasekaran T, life and Legacy of Madras Christian College
1837 1978, 55.
4. Joshua Kalapati, and Ambrose Jeyasekaran T, life and Legacy of Madras Christian College
1837 1978, 67.
5. Joshua Kalapati, and Ambrose Jeyasekaran T, life and Legacy of Madras Christian College
1837 1978, 132.
6. Joshua Kalapati, and Ambrose Jeyasekaran T, life and Legacy of Madras Christian College
1837 1978, 254 -265

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Conclusion

The study undertaken was a relevant one which dealt with negative voting
trends in the Madras Christian College and the five states who underwent the legislative
assembly elections. This study concentrated on the response from the students community in
MCC and also deals with the NOTA voting rate in the five state legislative assembly
elections which were held in November 2013 in India.
In this study the students of Madras Christian College acted as a cross section
of the sample to survey because, it has the capacity to give maximum amount of knowledge
about the negative vote and it also is a culturally wide and rich section of the country India.
So it has been much helpful in understanding the realities and bringing out the intricacies of
the topic. Another area of study is based on the previous legislative constituency elections of
the five states. It provided the first hand practically implemented solid information regarding
the attitude of the voters about the negative voting and find out how many voters made use of
the option of NOTA and how far any changes in the current system of election has been
effected through the implementation of NOTA.
Regarding the Hypothesis, Negative voting will make a significant impact on
the electoral system in India by reducing the ill of the present election system, when asked as
a question in the set of questions provided as part of the case study; only 37% of them replied
with a yes while the majority 63% of the people responded negatively to the question Do
you think the implementation of negative voting will make any change in the Indian Election
System?. As the above mentioned data itself, shows that the hypothesis stands to be proved
null. Probing further for supporting data by taking into consideration the rest of the questions
and the case study conducted on the legislative assembly election held in five states affirm
this inference arrived at through the question response.
The assumptions that the problems related to election procedures and the
corrupted or criminals among the candidates standing for election will be reduced removing
the ills associated with the present election system can be clearly be seen to be a wrong one,
as is seen in the present condition a deeper look into the study revealed that this hypothesis
was incorrect and this termed out to be null hypothesis. This is because 63% of the students
of the college argue that the implementation of negative voting as it being done now will not
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make any change in the election system. And also going through the five states legislative
elections, the result shows that, nothing unpredictable happened in the elections and whoever
gains more number of votes wins in the election. If the candidates have no good track record,
the voters can reject all the candidates, through this it is possible to avoid or to eliminate the
criminals from getting to power. But when we go through the field study we can understand
the 36% of respondents have suggested it will help to eliminate the criminals from the
politics. But the same rate of respondent also argues that it does not help to eliminate the
criminals from the politics and also 28% of respondents have no opinion about this thing.
Further making make use of the previous election result we find out that no candidate failed
based on the negative vote. The candidate will win or fail only on the basis of the number of
vote each one obtained in the election. So we can say negative vote does not help to remove
the criminals from the politics.
Come to the another point, the total respondents 51 % of the argued that it will
help to increase the rate of votes in the elections while 25% of the respondents say that it will
not help to increase the rate of vote in the elections and 24% has no any opinion about this
matter. The implementation of NOTA will give a tendency to voter to present in some point
of view and make known his decision, because it will help to create a consciousness, whether
we use negative vote but it will still count as a vote. There is a chance that the voter is
dissatisfied or does not like to vote because of the absences of good candidates. Earlier
voters only option was to vote for any candidate or not to vote at all. But these days we have
more options like we can make use of the vote or NOTA in the election. So it will make
chances to increase participation of the number of voters because of the presence of negative
voting. This will bring in a greater number of citizens to take part in the election and make
their voices to be heard regarding the building of the nation, even express their dissatisfaction
regarding the same. But the condition of the negative voting has also to be considered.
When asked whether the negative vote has any draw backs? 28% of the
respondents are arguing that it has some draw backs, but 72% of the respondents are arguing
that it has no draw backs. Then going on to the practical applied situation of the negative
voting, in the five states elections, less number of voters only made use of the option of
NOTA in that elections. Then there the question arises, why the citizens did not make use of
NOTA. It can be assumed that there is no problem or the candidates are good in character. So
any way most of the respondents are say it has no draw back and less people only use
negative vote in the election. So the inference is that a proper implementation of NOTA is
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what is required. The hypothesis after analyzing all the pros and cons of negative voting in
the present scenario: the hypothesis, negative voting will make a significant impact on the
electoral system in India by reducing the ill of the present election system, thus is proved
null.
The study about this topic is so important because it is a new thing in the
Indian election system. The paper and the case of study in mention is a pioneer in this region
of academic level in the country. I hope common peoples will have more awareness about
this act, so a study about this subject is very much relevant. As is in the case in every field a
change is needed from time to time. So in the field of election also the changes are required
such as the change towards the bringing in of negative voting. So many people argue that it
will make some changes in the current election system. But we will wait for some more years
to find out the real result of the negative voting. But as in any thing, it also has two sides.
Like a coin the negative vote has also two sides. One side is it will help clear the evils from
the elections. The other side of negative voting is problems of its effective implementation.
1) The idea of negative voting is good but in the practical level it is not success.
Because this negative vote is counted but it does not affect the other candidates
votes or does not usher in any change in the election results as per the traditional
method. So it is useless and meaningless.
2) The negative votes casted in the present scenario is being counted but the value of
the vote is negligible as it falls under a category which does not seem to have any
say in the making of the government. The votes are being wasted away as a
different category, even when it is being assured that the votes casted are valuable
and important; it is the same as not voting at all.
3) Negative vote only suggests none of the candidates as being eligible, but it does not
show how much each candidate is eligible or vice versa. Thereby we are unable to
understand or find out which candidate deserved more negative vote.
4) The main aim or the argument put forward by the election commission and
PUCLs in implementing negative voting is that it would help to remove the
criminals from the election procedures and thereby in long term from politics itself.
But this aim has been corrupted or the system has been ineffective in this purpose.

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Suggestions:
The study makes the following suggestions has increased the efficiency of Negative Voting.
1) The negative voting system if improved it will means to reform the current way
election procedures and will strengthen the democracy of the nation making it
criminal and corruption free.
2) Introduce some clause statement for the NOTA adding on to its value suggesting
that if a particular amount of negative votes are casted in one constituency
automatically the entire candidates are rejected from the election for some terms.
But in this issue the problems are re-election and are most likely more expensive
and time consuming but yet powerful and meaningful implementation of the
democratic principles.
3) Another suggestion is revalue the principles and conditions of the negative voting
making it an effective tool in the hands of the common voters of the nation.
4) Awareness programs and publicity regarding negative voting and its advantages
have to be promoted. The political parties or government which is formed by the
parties will not publicize this as the might lose their votes, therefore it should be
taken into consideration that the election commission itself takes the matter into its
hands, creating awareness programs regarding the casting of negative votes and
about the power it adds to the vote of a common man.
The basic idea behind every research work is whether the particular can be
generalized and applied in a wider context, making it useful for a bigger purpose. The view
point of study has been the general assembly election of five states and the field research
done in Madras Christian College, but this limited point of study is effective in its own way
as it includes and stands for the whole of the nation. A part for the whole is the notion. This
part is effectively able to represent the whole in bringing out the facts in general. Though the
project originated from an academic perspective, the scope of the paper does not limit itself to
the academic sphere only, it is hoped to rises as an important landmark in the strengthening
the democratic principles of our nation.

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Limitations
The study has the following limitations:
1) Time factor was the major impediment which was instrumented in reducing the width
of the survey in question to the Madras Christian College as specific one. Or otherwise,
at least a legislative constituency assembly could have been taken for the study
2) Attitudes such as apathy, trivialisation and negative responsive stand adopted by some
of the respondents were a dampener.
3) This topic is recent and newly implemented in the in Indian context so availability of
the resource is very limited
4) Finally, the study is carried out within considerable constraints imposed by
unavailability of time as well as financial support.

76

Bibliography
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1, Ahuja, M.L. General Elections in Indian Electoral Politics, Electoral Reforms and Political
Parties. New Delhi : Icon Publications, 2005
2, Beetham, David, ed. Defining and Measuring democracy. New Delhi : SAGE Publication,
1994.
3, Dahl, Robert A., Ian Shapiro, and Antonio Cheibub, ed. Democracy Source Book.
Cambridge : MIT Press, 2003.
4, Grecc, Clair J. Upon Negative Voting . A Paper read at Meeting of the
National.London : W. W. Head Victoria Press, 1896
5, Kalapati, Joshua, and Ambrose Jeyasekaran T. Life and Legacy of Madras Christian
College 1837 1978. Chennai : Zha Communications on behalf of the others, 2010.
6,Kenneth, Janda, Jeffrey M. Burry, and Jerry Goldman. The Challenge of Democracy the
Essentials. USA : Toughton Mifflin Company, 1999
7, Kumar, B. Venkatesh. Electoral Reforms in India Current Discourses. Jaipur : Rowat
Publications, 2009.
8, Lawmanns: Constitution of India. New Delhi : Kamal Publishers, 2012
9, Muathy, T.S.Krishna. Proposed Electoral Reforms. New Delhi : Election Commission of
India, 2004.
10, Ostrom, Vincent. Meaning of Democracy and the Vulnerability of Democracies. USA :
The University of Michigan Press, 1997.
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Vista International Publishing House, 2010
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Vista International Publishing House, 2010
13, Viplav. Encyclopaedia of Electoral Reforms and Political Development Vol.-V. Delhi :
Vista International Publishing House, 2010
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Journals
1, Fiorina, Morris P. Is Negative Voting Artifact?. American Jornal of Political Science. 33
(1989) 423-439.
2, Born, Richard. Surge and Decline, Negative Voting, and the Midterm Loss Phenomenon:
A Simultaneous Choice Analysis. American Journal of Political Science. 34 (1990) 615645.
3, Kemell, Samuel. Presidential Popularity and Negative Voting: An Alternative
Explanation of Midterm Congressional Decline of the Presidents Party. American
Political Science Review. 71 (1977) 44-66
4, Mathew, Mammen. States of India. Manorama Yearbook. 48 (2013) 544-593.
5, Muralekrishan, O.K. Negative Vote; Right to Expression. Harisree. 2 (2013) 10.

Internet Sources
1, Anuju, Neha Sethi, Kirthi V. Rao. More than 200,000 voters choose NOTA option. 8
December 2013. Live mint and the Wall Street Journal. 12 January 2014
http://morethan200,000voterschoosenotaoptionlivemint.html/
2, Bhatia, Gautam. Indian Supreme Court Upholds the Right to Negative Vote. 9
October 2013. Oxford Human Rights Hub. 18 February 2014
http://oxfordhumanrightshub.com.html
3, Chishti, Seema. The power of negative voting. 28 September 2013. The Indian
Express. 18 January 2014
http://thepowerofnegativevoting/indianexpress.com.html/
4, Election Commission of India. Current Election 2013. 30 December 2013. Election
Commission of India. 10 March 2014
http://eriresults.inc.in/eciresult.as.nic.in.html/

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5, Kapur, Mini. The power of negative voting. 28 September 2013. The financial express.
10 January 2014
http://thepowe rofnegativevotingfinancialexpress.html/
6, Monalisa, Elizabeth Roche. Voters have a new option: reject all candidates. 27
September 2013. Live mint and the Wall Street Journal. 18 January 2014
http://livemint.com/votershaveanewoptionrejectallcandidates.html/
7, Satish, D.P. SC Verdict on negative vote: Much hype, serves no Purpose. 27 September
2012. IBM Live. 23 January 2014
http://ibmlive.com/SCverdictonnegativevotemuchhypeservesnopurpose.html

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Appendix I

Questionnaire
Madras Christian College, Tambaram.
Department of political science.
This is for collecting information for my MA dissertation related to negative voting. Through
this survey I intend to collect the opinions of students among MCC on negative voting. I request you
to kindly cooperate and fill the form.

1. Gender

: Male/Female

2. Department & Stream :


3. Have you enrolled your name in the voters list?
a. Yes

b. No

4. If no why?
a. Not interested

b. I am against politics

c. Not aware about that

d. Other reasons

5. Have you voted in any election previously?


a. Yes
b. No
6. If no why? a. Not interested
b. I was out of place
c. Other reasons
7. Are you aware about negative voting?
a. Yes
b. No
( If yes only fill the questions 8 to10)
8. How did you come to know about negative voting?
a. Medias
b. Political parties
c. Any organization
d. Friends
9. Which year did negative voting implement in India.
a. 2013
b. 2012
c. 2009
d. 1998
e. I dont know
10. Presently, how many do countries follow negative voting?
a.14
b. 10
c, 7
d. 16
e. dont know

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11. Do you think the implementation of negative voting will make any change in the Indian
election system?
a. Yes
b. No
12. If yes what are they?........................................................................................
13. Do you think the implementation of negative voting will help increase the rate of voting
in elections?
a. Yes
b. No
c. No opinion
14. Do you think the implementation of negative voting will help to remove the criminals
from the power?
a. Yes

b. No

c. No opinion

15. Will you use negative voting in coming election?


a. Yes

b. No

c. Not yet decided

16. If yes why?


a. Candidate has a criminal background
b. Candidate is a corrupted
c. No efficient candidates

d. Other reasons

17. Do you think negative voting is an essential thing for Indian election system?
a. Yes

b. No

c. No opinion

18. Is the implementation of negative voting through the judicial activism necessary?
a. Yes
b. No
c. I dont know
19. Did political parties or any other organizations inform about negative voting?
a. Yes
b. No
20. What is your opinion about negative voting?...............................................
21. Did you think negative voting have any draw backs?
a. Yes
b. No
22. If yes what are they?.........................................................
23. Are you expecting more reformation in Indian election system?
a. Yes
b. No
24. If yes, what are they?..............................................................
25. Do you satisfied with negative voting as a voter?
a. Yes
b. No
26. If yes why?.........................................................
27. If no why?.........................................................
28. Can you guess why did negative voting introduce in Indian political
system?......................................................................

81