unopposed election


recently Surat constituency of Gujarat to a candidate from Elected unopposed.

related facts

  • It is noteworthy that the nomination papers of the Congress candidate were rejected and other candidates withdrew their nominations. Thus, the voting to be held in Surat on May 7 will not take place.

Provision to declare candidate elected before voting

  • Section 53(3) of the Representation of the People Act (RPA), 1951: It deals with the process of unopposed elections.
    • According to this, if If the number of such candidates is less than the number of seats to be filled, the Returning Officer (RO) Will declare all such candidates elected.
    • RO's action in this regard Section 33 of the Act which is governed by Relates to the presentation of nomination papers and the requirements for valid nomination.
  • Handbook for Returning Officers (Version 2) issued by the Election Commission (EC): It states that 'if in any constituency There is only one contesting candidate, So that candidate will have to wait till the last hour of withdrawal of nomination. Immediately thereafter the duly elected candidate should be declared elected.
    • Voting is not necessary in that case. Further, all those candidates who have been elected unopposed and have criminal history will have to make public the details in the prescribed format as per the time limit.

Possibility of negative voting in election system

  • NOTA (None of the Above) Option: NOTA option introduced through Supreme Court intervention November 2013 Available on Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
    • The Supreme Court said that 'Giving the voter the right not to vote for any candidate while protecting the voter's right to privacy is extremely important in a democracy. such option Gives the voter the right to express his disapproval of the candidates fielded by the parties.
    • Exclusion of NOTA votes from calculation of total valid votes: As per RO Handbook, NOTA votes should not be taken into account for calculating the total valid votes cast for refund of security deposit.
    • Election Commission's view: The Election Commission's approach has been that the person securing the highest number of votes in any constituency will still be declared the winner, irrespective of the number of NOTA votes.
    • Approach to local body elections: With regard to local body elections, especially in Maharashtra, the approach is different.
      • In a directive issued in November 2018, Maharashtra State Election Commission said that NOTA will be treated as a notional electoral candidate in the urban local body elections.
      • In cases where NOTA gets maximum votes, The Commission will arrange for re-polling.
  • Rule 49 (O) under the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961: This allows voters to decide not to vote through Rule 49(O).
    • A comment to the effect that The elector has decided not to register his vote, against the entry relating to the elector in the voter register by the Presiding Officer 'Comment Column' Should be done in.
    • Then, against such comment The signature or thumb impression of the elector will have to be taken.

Difference between Electoral Function Rule 49(O) and NOTA Option

  • Compromise of confidentiality: In case of Rule 49(O)a voter is more likely to compromise his or her privacy, because it There is a process to be followed 'manually' at the polling station.
    • However, in case of NOTA, there is no such issue.

Events after NOTA:

  • NOTA leaves political parties behind in voting numbers: This has happened many times when Political parties have got less votes than NOTA.
    • In the last five years, it has received more than 1.29 crore votes in the State Assembly and Lok Sabha elections combined.
  • Criticism: Some activists and constitutional experts have been criticizing NOTA and It is termed as 'powerless', which has no impact on the election results.
  • Supreme Court's response: Recently the Supreme Court asked the Election Commission to Asked to respond to a petition seeking fresh elections where NOTA votes were in majority.
    • The Supreme Court had earlier refused to direct the Election Commission that if If most of the voters use NOTA then conduct fresh elections.

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