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Rule 49 (O) Update May 12, 2006

Posted by scan man in Life in India, News, Politics.

The Tamil Nadu State election results were declared yesterday. The people have voted for a regime change. So we'll have a new chief minister in a few days.

I had entertained the possibility of opting not to vote for any of the contestants in my constituency. I was not too sure if I would be allowed to do that. The existence of such a provision in the Election Rules has only been talked about in websites and blogs among what the Indian media quaintly calls the 'chatteratti'. I did not think that it had percolated down to the lower bureaucracy. So I chose the lesser evils and voted for the non-communist candidate.

I am glad to say he won. But the alliance that his party was part of lost. The left-of-centre alliance which included the two communist parties won.

My skepticism re. the lower bureaucracy was proved true by news reports of people being refused to entertain their privilege not to vote by opting for Rule 49 (O).

We really do need electoral reforms.

Update: The guy I voted for won with a margin of just 14 votes (total votes polled 240,267).    



1. Moof - May 13, 2006

Scan Man, I agree. The option 49 (0) sounds like something we could use here in the States, too … but even for you who have it, if you’re not allowed to use it, then it won’t do much good!

Also … if I remember right, it’s not on the ballot …. and so there’s no privacy when you choose that option. I have a feeling that you will have to push pretty hard to get them to do that …

I glad that your candidate won. Now, it’s Congress that lost the non-communist majority? Is the Congress in India similar to the Congress in the US?

2. It's me, T.J. - May 13, 2006


I kind of like the sound of this term.

What I’m wondering is, will the guy you voted for be made ineffectual because of the other party winning?


3. scan man - May 13, 2006

Moof, Thanks. More people have to know about this before any kind of change is to be expected. There has been a fair amount of publicity this time. Lets hope it all adds up to put pressure on the Establishment before the next elections.

No. The Congress is part of the winning alliance which includes the Communists.

The Congress in India refers to a national political party – the Indian National Congress. Our version of your Congress is the bicameral Parliament (Sansad in Hindi) with a lower Lok Sabha – House of the People, corresponding to your House of Representatives and higher Rajya Sabha – Council of States, corresponding to your Senate.

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