- K Raghu, Bangalore
A popular cheer phrase -- O Podu -- is now a new call for voters in Tamil Nadu to reject candidates that are not worth voting for in the assembly election.
The O Podu movement meaning "cast the vote", run by a Chennai-based journalist Gnani Sankaran, urges the electorate to use a lesser known provision in the Indian Constitution to reject those who contest the polls.
"The citizen has a right to reject the candidates in the elections and the Constitution provides for it. We are telling voters that you can exercise your choice in the polls
and be effective," the 52-year-old told DNA.
Sankaran uses email and text messages to educate voters across the state to use their discretion. "If people are educated, then this movement can be the alternate front," Sankaran said.
But what is the less used provision that allows a voter to reject a candidate?
The rule 49 (O) of the Conduct of Election Rules 1961 gives the electorate the right to register at the polling booth, get their index finger inked, but refrain from casting the vote. The electoral officer then has to make an entry under the rule, but the noting is not a secret.
If the rejection exceeds the number of votes polled, a re-election is then ordered, but the rejected candidates do not have the right to contest again.
Interestingly, the Constitution bars even the courts to know from a voter his choice of candidate under section 94 of the Representation of Peoples Act, 1954.
(This article was published in www.dnaindia.com - 18/04/2006)
கீற்று இணையதளத்திற்கு தங்களது படைப்புகளை அனுப்ப வேண்டிய மின்னஞ்சல் முகவரி: [email protected]. வேறு எந்த இணைய தளத்திலோ, வலைப்பூக்களிலோ வெளிவராத படைப்புகளை மட்டுமே கீற்றிற்கு அனுப்பவும். அப்படியான படைப்புகள் மட்டுமே கீற்றில் வெளியிடப்படும்.