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An open letter to the voters of Punjab
Dear Voters, I will be happy if you also become part of the election process, in the world's largest and most populous democracy on the planet, involving more than 814 million eligible voters. The election to the 543 members of the 16th Lok Sabha or lower house of the Parliament, which started on April 7 will conclude on May 12. The results on May 16, will determine who will rule the world's largest democracy. The victor will ultimately be the party winning the most Lok Sabha seats, a minimum of 272.

This once-in-five-years event is known as the greatest democratic show on the earth because of its sheer scale and managerial complexity. And this time could be pivotal: after ten years in power, the ruling coalition appears headed for a fall.

Over the space of more than a month, approximately 814 million voters across India are eligible to vote for their representative to the Lok Sabha, or House of the People. It will be the 16th parliament since India won independence from Britain in 1947.

You will agree with me that all political parties have almost played their cards to gain mileage during the Lok Sabha elections and how far they are in the interest of the people or common man; it is for you to think twice before you cast your vote.

We must cast our vote as this time, new history is going to be written with every cast of your vote and you will be a witness to it. Your each vote will become a world of words in the new history. But do say that cast your vote intelligently after going through credentials of the candidate, his standing in the politics, society and future vision.

Dear voters, let us understand in detail. Votes are not the permanent solution to our problems but for a common man, it is a medium to express his sentiments and thus it is very important in the democratic set-up. One can register his protest by not agreeing to even any of the candidates by pressing the NOTA button on the EVM machine.

Let me say that 'None of the Above' (NOTA), also known as -against all- or a - scratch - vote, is a ballot option in some jurisdictions or organizations, designed to allow the voter to indicate disapproval of all of the candidates in a voting system. It is based on the principle that consent requires the ability to withhold consent in an election, just as they can by voting no on ballot questions.

The Election Commission of India introduced the option of negative vote (NOTA) after a recent Supreme Court order. With the increase of number of NOTA votes, it will create a pressure on the political parties to field the honest and dedicated workers in the elections. NOTA have no meaning at all and it is just a negative vote. NOTA does not indicate the disliking of voters for the particular candidates. In such a situation, its existence and non-existence does not matter as this will reduce the difference of winning and losing votes.

But the introduction of NOTA is being seen as a first major step towards sweeping electoral reforms in the country. If the election figures are an indicator, NOTA are still very away from making an impact.

Common man, who is so far trusting on political parties- Congress, sometime on Akalis and now he is inclined to Aam Aadmi Party, who could not survive for more than 49 days in Delhi under the leadership of its national President, Arvind Kejriwal.

When I asked hundreds of people as to who you will cast your vote, so far as Punjab is concerned, their straightway reply was, not to Akalis. There is a common sense that he will go in for the Congress or AAP in Punjab. So far as the Congress is concerned, the party has its image in Punjab due to not being in power for the last many years and in Delhi or other states because of its leader's involvement in series of scams in the last few years.

No doubt, Indians are looking for a change and now the only option which is left is AAP. Here too, the common man is not clear especially, it could not survive in Delhi, and how it can work in states.

I may also share that the list of needs of the common man is not so big, he wants only a 'roti' for two times, cheap material of use in day today, education and health services with a transparent and clean administration free from corruption.

It is also said that AAP is creation of the Congress and it has given its hand to AAP with an outside support.

Before pressing the button on Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) especially the NOTA button, there is a need to understand the psychology of a revolutionary who keeps only one feeling. It is not the time to discuss too much on feelings to bring change but the time is to understand his feelings and salute him. The real fight may be on some other issue but it is for you to decide as to whom you want to support, the old parties or a party with a new vision.

I normally speak frankly and this time too, the power of common man has been under estimated by the already established political parties and need of the hour is to analyze by all - old political parties, common man and a party with new vision, before pressing the button on EVM including the NOTA button. Over to Voters, with hope that to make best use of their right to vote to elect the best government.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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Vibhav Kant Upadhyay
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