851 Delhi voters said no to all candidates

May 9th, 2009 - 3:13 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 9 (IANS) Eight hundred and fity one Delhi voters went to the polling booths Thursday but refused to vote for any of the candidates. They used section 49-O that enables a voter to reject all candidates.
According to the Election Commission, among those who used this provision of the Conduct of Elections Act, the upscale New Delhi constituency led with 178 people saying ‘I don’t wish to vote’.

This was followed by 164 voters in West Delhi, 153 in East Delhi, 130 in Chandni Chowk and North West Delhi and 50 in South Delhi, officials said here Friday.

North East Delhi had the least number of people, 46, registering themselves in register 17 (A) and signing that they don’t wish to cast their vote for any of the candidates.

Satbir Silas Bedi, Delhi’s chief electoral officer, said: “We kept a tab on the number of people using the provision 49-O just to keep our records straight. Earlier we didn’t really compile the data because we are only concerned about the number of people who have cast their vote.”

“However this time because there has been a lot of interest in the provision, we complied the data,” Bedi told IANS.

A number of NGOs and youth organisations like Youth for Equality were quite vociferous in spreading awareness about the provision.

Jiten Jain of Youth for Equality said: “It’s a good thing that people are using 49-O. Before Delhi went to the polls, we tried to reach across to as many people as possible saying that boycotting the elections is not the solution - use code 49-O and say that you don’t want to vote any of the candidates.”

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