Right to responsibly refuse to vote

For an elector who decides not to vote, Chapter XX in
Handbook for Presiding Officers on Election Commission
website says he shall not be compelled, the remark
'Refused to Vote' shall be entered against his name
with signature of Presiding Officer, and the elector's
signature or thumb impression shall be obtained
against the remark.

It appears we do have, individually, the right to
responsibly not vote and, collectively, the right ? or
at least opportunity ? to know how many exercised it.

On account of NGO demands and PIL and EC proposal for
none-of-the-above, I had the impression that such an
option was not available. Following references to some
Forms in media this week I went yesterday to check at
EC, where Legal Secretary confirmed what is on the

>From today we will be requesting EC to inform all
voters in this regard through media. Letter of
yesterday about this is at

This much is for information of all, please do
circulate widely.


The following is for information of those bothered by
the growing trend of wilful schemes and wilful
evictions in the city and its increasing importance,
even determinism, in elections.

Through the tenure of 13th Lok Sabha many have been
seeking lawful planned development of Delhi and
opposing illegal schemes (and illegal evictions for
illegal schemes) that are environmentally and
institutionally unsustainable, besides infringing
settled legal entitlements (not vague human rights) of
those directly affected.

In municipal elections some of us tried to draw
attention to this concern by fielding a proxy
candidate to seek a vote for planned development. A
few of us have now decided to use our right to refuse
to vote to the same end, since illegal development in
the likeness of patently myopic world class paradigms
seem central to all election campaigns.

It is not so much a none-of-the-above message that we
seek to convey to candidates as an
all-of-the-above-one to all parties and independent
ideologies. We will draw up a detailed statement to
all members of 14th Lok Sabha later about our
concerns, illustrated by three recent engagements
against unlawful schemes that have a bearing on the
present election.

DERC order of 26.03.04 allowing private Discoms to
recover 100 crores for development already done while
covering up the larger scam by contractors affects all
electricity consumers as well as the election...

After unlawful dispossession for unlawful riverbed
development, proposed Pushta polling plans, reported
on 03.05.04 with statements of expectation of
violence, are most worrying...

Developments following recent court orders about free
seats in schools are drifting from its legal context
of common school system in ways that aggrieve all
students and parents while abetting class conflicts in
the same ways as in the above?

Today and tomorrow a few of us will be at EC and a few
of us with others who have been synergising on the
above. On the weekend we might meet to decide polling
day plans. Tentatively, we plan to 'refuse to vote' at
our respective booths and then meet at a central place
in Delhi. If inclined to do the same or similar,
please mail [email protected] so we can

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