The ‘None of the Above’ option introduced in elections recently have been termed as game-changers by some commentators. Some angry voters even discussed exercising the option when elections hit their locality on social media. However, when you sift through the facts it becomes amply clear that NOTA is about as useless as your Aadhaar card currently.

Let’s tell you why.

1.NOTA does not mean rejection. That may sound self-defeating to the whole point of NOTA but according to Indian democracy the rule of first past the post is declared the winner. Thus, if out of total 10,000 votes, 9999 voters elect NOTA option and just one candidate gets even a single vote, then the latter wins from that constituency.

2.There has been a debate for re-election to be held in case the total number of NOTA votes crosses a certain percentage. However, this has no legal standing currently and hence NOTA is merely cosmetic in nature. You may vote for it but NOTA will not get counted in your favour.

3.NOTA has been used in the current elections, to limited effect, by angry citizens before they voted to draw attention to the administration’s apathy in their locality on civic issues. However, this only prompted all the candidates to come to the aggrieved citizens and ask for votes as candidates probably saw a votebank in them. NOTA can work only when such displeasure takes the form of government will and backing to amend civic apathy.

4.NOTA can only work only when it is paired with Right To Recall option where voters can recall candidates they have elected. This will instill fear in candidates to do well in office and also lead to giving NOTA importance because it act as a pre-cursor to public displeasure. Currently, Right To Recall does not exist in the electoral process in the country, which only weakens NOTA.