City-based activists have sought guidelines from the Election Commission of India for invoking 'right not to vote' in the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections.
Activists Rohit Prajapati, Trupti Shah, Amrish Brambhatt and Kantibhai Mistry said they had written a letter in this regard to K F Wilfred, Principal Secretary, Election Commission of India, New Delhi on October 18.
"Finally the Election Commission has responded to our letter dated October 18 for exercising our 'Right Not to Vote the Listed Candidates" by using Section 49(O) the conduct of Elections Rules, 1961. But surprisingly till today there is no response from the office of the Chief Electoral Officer of Gujarat," they said in a press statement on Saturday.
The activists however said they had received a reply from the principal secretary saying, "As you are already aware, a proposal made by the Commission for making provisions in the law for 'none of the above' button in the EVM is pending with the government".
The EC has said the procedure to be followed in case o f Rule 49-O is fully explained in the said rule. "If a voter, after going through the formalities of identification, application of indelible ink on the finger decides not to vote for any candidate, he/she has to inform the polling officer/presiding officer about the decision, and the latter will then make entries in the Register of Electors to the effect," they said quoting the EC letter.
The activists claimed that the letter has informed that the EC has said the polling booth personnel must be briefed about rule 49-O.