Disillusioned teenagers ask for right against vote

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Old 16-Apr-2012
Disillusioned teenagers ask for right against vote

New Delhi: As Delhi voted yesterday for its trifurcated municipal corporation, a 19-year-old boy arrived at the Delhi Election Commission to demand his right not to vote.

Akshay Malhotra, 19, who is from the Karampura area of west Delhi, reached the Delhi Election Commission yesterday morning to complain that he was not allowed to practise his right not to vote.

"I reached the local polling booth and asked them for form 11A, but the booth level officers were not aware about it," he said after registering his complaint.

Asked why he did not want to vote for any candidate, he said: "I did not find any of the candidates good enough to vote for. They are all corrupt and even last night some candidates were distributing liquor here."

The youth added that he is a member of Anna Hazare's anti-corruption movement — India Against Corruption.

Malhotra is not the only one not interested in voting for any of the candidates. Other voters, mostly younger ones, across the city said they were choosing not to vote.

When 27-year-old Mayank Agarwal reached booth no 229 in Anand Vihar, he wanted to practise his right not to vote under rule 49-O.

"No one was aware what 49-O is. The booth officer contacted the head polling officer, and then he contacted his senior…there was a lot of drama and the whole polling booth came to a standstill," said Agarwal. "However, I was later allowed to practise my right not to vote," he said.

Voters can decide not to vote under two rules: The first is 49-O, under which voters fill in a form not to vote without taking part in any procedures at the booth. Another rule, 11A, applies when a voter decides not to vote after completing the initial procedures.

‘Good candidates'

"I am choosing not to vote under 11A, because I find none of the candidates here fit to vote for," said Gaurav, 20, who is from the Lakshminagar area of east Delhi.

Delhi Election Commissioner Rakesh Mehta however said there were good candidates this time and that he did not expect many to practise the right not to vote.

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