Kota: The "None Of The Above" (NOTA) option in electronic voting machines (EVMs) has offered a new means of protest to thousands of closed factory workers in Kota of Rajasthan, which is going to polls in December 01.
Members of about 1,800 families, who were employed in Samtel Glass Unit and Samtel Color Unit in Kota, have decided to push for their demands by pressing the NOTA button in the ensuing Assembly Elections in the state.
These 1,800 families make up about 9,000 voters in different Assembly segments in Kota.
Milan Sharma, the president of Samtel Workers Committee, said that they had been protesting since the units closed down in November last year, but no political party ever extended support to them.
"About 1,800 workers were left without jobs after the closure. The company management did not even pay due salaries worth Rs 40 crore," he claimed, adding "leaders of neither the ruling party nor the opposition have come to their rescue."
"We will register our protest by pressing the NOTA button in the upcoming Assembly Elections," he added.
Krishandutt Dwivedi of Samtel Color Works Committee said, "During our meetings with the Chief Minister and other ministers, we were assured of support but they did nothing... The government indirectly backed the management."
The workers of the closed factories are not the only ones to register their protest through the NOTA button, a large number of voters in three Assembly segments in Bundi said they would weigh the option if parties failed to field candidates with clean image.
Parvati Soni, a government school principal, said she would press the NOTA button if parties field candidates with criminal background or poor track-record.
The Election Commission has decided to introduce the NOTA option in EVMs in the upcoming Assembly polls in five states following a Supreme Court directive.