Coimbatore, May 13 (ANI): While the final round of the Lok Sabha elections saw people turning up to cast their votes on Wednesday, there were many who chose not to cast their votes, by making use of a special election rule.
Disillusioned with the set of candidates contesting, a number of voters in Coimbatore decided to invoke rule 49 (O) of the Election Conduct Rule, which allows a voter to reject all candidates and not cast the vote.
The voters flashed their inked fingers with élan after they came out of the polling booths without casting their ballot.
"As I'm not willing to vote for any of the candidates here, I've decided to invoke rule 49 (O), wherein, after identity, after signing in the form 17 (A) I'm getting ink mark on my left forefinger. I have invoked rule 49 (O) signed 17 (A) again, after the presiding officer has noted that he has recorded not to vote," said Krishnaswamy, a voter.
Taking cue from their elders, even the younger generation, which was wooed by the political parties in a major way, decided to invoke rule 49 (O).
Vivek Balaji, a student said, "It is not a protest, it is a rule. I don't like the candidates, so I don't want to vote."
The rule of negative/neutral voting was proposed in 2004 by then Chief Election Commissioner T.S. Krishnamurthy as an electoral reform to enable the voters to fully express their choice through vote.
The negative/neutral vote thus cast is registered and counted during the poll counting exercise to cross check the number of voters. (ANI)