The Gujarat High Court today directed the state election to provide the option of None of the Above (NOTA) option to the voters in next months elections to municipal corporations, municipalities, district and taluka panchayats.
The HC had earlier struck down the state governments move to make voting compulsory in the elections to the local self government bodies. The SEC, putting forward the argument that as there would be no compulsory voting there was no need to have the option of NOTA.
However the SECs decision not to include NOTA was challenged by Swaraj Abhiyans district convener K R Koshti in the High Court, following which a division bench comprising acting chief justice Jayant Patel and justice N V Anjaria today castigated the SEC for overruling the Supreme Courts directive to provide NOTA option to all the voters in the country.
The High Court has directed the SEC to modify its election notification to include the option of NOTA in the electronic voting machines.
The elections to six Municipal Corporations would take place on November 22 while those of 31 district panchayats, 230 taluka panchayats, 56 municipalities would take place on November 29. The counting of votes for all the local self government would be held on December 2.
The courts decision directing the SEC to provide NOTA option to the voters is considered a major setback to the BJP because the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) and the Sardar Patel Group (SPG), the two organizations of the upper caste Patels spearheading the agitation for reservation in jobs and education to them on par with OBCs, have appealed to their supporters to use NOTA to teach the ruling BJP a lesson.
The Patels are estimated to comprise 18 per cent of the states population. UNI ND JW RSA 1535
-- (UNI) -- C-1-1-DL0103-412816.Xml