Again NOTA shows its powers in five states! What is NOTA?

Again NOTA shows its powers in five states! What is NOTA?
Again NOTA shows its powers in five states! What is NOTA?

The NOTA or none of the above option appeared to have outperformed several political parties, including the AAP and Samajwadi Party, which contested the assembly polls in the five states.

According to the Election Commission’s website at 8 pm today, the NOTA votes ranged as high as 2.1 per cent in Chhattisgarh to 0.5 per cent in Mizoram.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which fielded its candidates on 85 seats out of 90 seats in Chhattisgarh, got 0.9 per cent of votes while NOTA votes were 2.1 per cent of the counted votes in the state.

Samajwadi Party and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) got 0.2 per cent votes each in Chhattisgarh.

The Communist Party of India (CPI) got 0.3 per cent votes in the state.

In Madhya Pradesh, NOTA votes were 1.5 per cent of the total counted votes. Samajwadi Party got 1.01 per cent while AAP got 0.7 per cent votes.

The NOTA votes in Rajasthan elections were 1.3 per cent. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) and SP got 1.2 per cent and 0.2 per cent votes respectively.

The AAP and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) received 0.4 per cent and 0.3 per cent votes each in the state.

In Telangana assembly polls, NOTA got 1.1 per cent of votes while NCP got 0.1 per cent of votes. The CPI(M) polled 0.4 per cent votes while CPI received 0.4 per cent votes.

In Mizoram, NOTA got 0.5 per cent of votes while People’s Represent for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM) got 0.2 per cent of votes.


What is NOTA?

NOTA (None Of The Above) is an option in election Ballot (Paper or Electronic) to exercise your right of saying ‘I don’t like any of the contesting candidates and don’t want to vote for any of them’.

Before 2009 under 49-O, a voter can inform Presiding Officer that he don’t wish to vote for any candidate and a entry used to done in a register with voter’s signature/thumb impression.
There were few issues with this, 1. It was not anonymous 2. Very few people knew about it 3. Those who knew did not used it much due to hassles.

To solve these problems in 2009, Election Commission under guidance of Honourable Supreme Court of India introduced NOTA in ballot.

As the case with 49-O, NOTA (as of now) has no effect of outcome of result. Candidate getting highest number of votes is declared winner irrespective of number of votes NOTA got. E.g. even if NOTA got 80% of total votes, candidate getting highest votes from remaining 20% will be the winner.

Some minor advantages are immediate that people are now aware of options (General Election 2014 has 1.1% votes to NOTA). Long term is when people will start increasingly vote in favor of NOTA, when none of the candidates deserve, then Election Commission/Govt/Court will take a note of it and we should see some good changes in favor of NOTA (may be election becomes void if NOTA gets highest vote).


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