‘Without NOTA button in EVMs, TN local body polls can’t be free and fair’

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Anti-corruption NGO Arappor Iyakkam, Convenor Jayaram Venkatesan on Saturday registered his unwillingness to vote in the Tamil Nadu urban local body poll here.

He was protesting against the Tamil Nadu State Election Commission’s move of not having the “None of the Above (NOTA)” button in the electronic voting machines (EVM).

Polling for urban local bodies began at 7 a.m. across the state.

“As a mark of protest against the undemocratic move of the State Election Commission to reject our fundamental right to vote with secrecy by not having NOTA in EVM, I registered my unwillingness to vote as per Section 71 of the Election Rules,” Venkatesan said.

He said a voter while voting has every right not to opt for any of the candidates during an election.

Right to reject has its origin in freedom of speech and expression. Not including NOTA in EVMs is violative of our fundamental right as well as Supreme Court’s judgement, Venkatesan said.

According to him, without the NOTA button, the poll cannot be called free and fair.

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