A little over one percent of the voters in India chose to vote for None Of The Above (NOTA) in the 2019 elections, the Election Commission data revealed. Just 1.04 percent of the total voters chose NOTA, which is virtually the same figure as it was in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. However, there are major variations in the total percentage of voters choosing NOTA in different states.
While 2.08 percent of the voters in Assam and Bihar chose NOTA, the number stood at just 0.65 percent in Sikkim. By opting for NOTA a voter can disapprove of all the candidates in the fray.
Less than one percent voters in the national capital opted for NOTA, with the North West Delhi constituency seeing the maximum number of votes polled under the category. The seat had the least number of candidates in the fray and the maximum number of voters.
The New Delhi seat, which saw the lowest turnout, had the second highest number of NOTA votes at 6,601 accounting for 0.72 percent of their total polling.
North East Delhi saw the highest voter turnout but received the least number of NOTA votes at 4,589 accounting for 0.31 percent of the total votes cast in the constituency.
The percentage of NOTA votes polled in Chandni Chowk, East Delhi, South Delhi, and West Delhi stood at 0.52 percent, 0.39 percent, 0.43 percent, and 0.62 percent respectively.
Jammu and Kashmir
About 8,000 voters opted for the NOTA in Baramulla Parliamentary constituency of Jammu and Kashmir which was won by National Conference's Mohammad Akbar Lone. NOTA secured 1.79 percent of the total votes polled in the constituency.
The NOTA secured more votes than four of the nine candidates who were in the fray in the constituency. In Udhampur constituency of Jammu region, 7,472 voters pressed the NOTA button – more than what seven candidates contesting the seat polled, the official said.
He said the Jammu parliamentary seat polled 2,545 NOTA votes – more than 14 candidates in a total of 24 contestants. Similarly, in Srinagar constituency, 1,566 voters chose NOTA. It was higher than five of the 12 candidates in the fray.
In Ladakh constituency, 910 voters pressed the NOTA button on the EVMs, while the lowest NOTA vote share was recorded in the restive south Kashmir's Anantnag constituency which registered 709 NOTA votes – higher than the vote share of nine candidates.
More than 1.54 lakh voters exercised NOTA option in Punjab where Congress registered an impressive victory by winning eight of the 13 Lok Sabha seats in the general election.
As many as 1,54,423 voters (1.12 percent of total votes polled) pressed the NOTA option, as per election office data.
Among 13 Lok Sabha seats, it was Faridkot constituency where the maximum number of voters rejected the candidates. A total of 19,246 voters in Faridkot went for NOTA, as per EC data available.
Over 33,000 NOTA votes were polled in Himachal Pradesh, where the ruling BJP swept the Lok Sabha elections winning all four seats in the state. The saffron party won Mandi, Shimla, Hamirpur, and Kangra with record margins of about four lakh votes in each of the constituencies.
As many as 33,008 voters chose the NOTA option. In this way, 0.87 percent voters opted for NOTA out of the total 38,01, 793 votes polled in the state on 19 May, an election official said. Besides, 8,208 (0.22 percent) votes were rejected for the four Lok Sabha seats of the hill-state, he added.
The highest 11,327 voters chose NOTA in Kangra, followed by 8,357 in Shimla, 8,026 in Hamirpur and 5,298 in Mandi, the official said. He said a total of 29,032 voters (0.9 percent) had opted for NOTA in the 2014 parliamentary elections.
The highest 3,322 votes were rejected in Hamirpur, followed by 2,567 in Kangra, 1,777 in Mandi and 1,542 in Shimla. Of the total 53,30,154 registered voters in the four constituencies, 68,028 (1.27 percent) are service voters.
Bihar was leading the tally of voters opting for the NOTA option while exercising their franchise in the 17th Lok Sabha polls. As per election commission data, the NOTA vote share stood at about 2 percent of the total votes polled in the state, where results of all the 40 seats had been declared.
Over 41,000 voters pressed the NOTA button in the Lok Sabha polls in Haryana where the ruling BJP won all 10 seats. The share of NOTA in Haryana was 0.68 percent of the total votes polled, as per the Election Commission data.
The maximum number of voters who opted for NOTA were in Ambala (7,943) while the least were in Bhiwani-Mahendergarh (2,041).
In the remaining eight constituencies, 4,986 voters went for NOTA option in Faridabad, 5,389 it in Gurgaon, 2,957 in Hisar, 5,463 in Karnal, 3,198 in Kurukshetra, 3,001 in Rohtak, 4,339 in Sirsa and 2,464 in Sonipat.
Maharashtra recorded 4,86,902 votes in favour of NOTA. The 2019 figure is a marginal increase from the last elections, when 4,83,459 voters decided to vote for NOTA.
This year, Palghar Lok Sabha constituency recorded the highest number of NOTA votes — 29,479 — followed by Naxal affected constituency of Gadchiroli-Chimur which recorded 24,599 NOTA votes. In the 2018 by-election in Palghar, there were 16,884 votes recorded in favour of NOTA.
Apart from Palghar and Gadchiroli-Chimur, Mumbai North West Lok Sabha constituency recorded 18,204 NOTA votes. The constituency witnessed a tought fight between Shiv Sena's Gajanan Kirtikar and Congress' Sanjay Nirupam. However, Kirtikar managed to ultimately win the seat.
In the states of UP, Gujarat and West Bengal, 0.84 percent, 1.38 percent, 0.96 percent of votes were cast in favour of NOTA. The counting was still on for a few seats in each of these states.
In 2019 elections, in the key constituency of Varanasi — the seat from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi contested the elections and won — saw 4,037 voters (0.38 percent) opting for NOTA.
The constituencies of Kerala's Wayanad — where Congress scion Rahul Gandhi won from — saw 2,155 voters (0.2 percent) pressing the NOTA button.
Amongst other key constituencies where results had been declared, Amit Shah's Gandhinagar constituency saw 14214 (1.11 percent) votes, Ravi Shankar Prasad's Patna Sahib constituency saw 5076 (0.52 percent), and Gautam Gambhir's East Delhi constituency had 4920 (0.39 percent) such votes.
Over 5,000 voters opted for the NOTA button in elections to the Muzaffarnagar parliamentary constituency in Uttar Pradesh.
Ten candidates were in the fray for Muzaffarnagar seat which was retained by BJP's Sanjeev Kumar Balyan, who defeated his nearest rival and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Ajit Singh by 6,526 votes.
According to the election officials, 5,061 voters opted for NOTA in Muzaffarnagar. While Balyan secured 5,73,780 votes, Singh polled 5,67,254 votes. Independent candidate Neel Kumar got 4,884 votes — less than what was polled for NOTA.
The option was first made available in the 2013 Assembly elections in Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh. The 2014 Lok Sabha polls were the first general elections to offer the option of NOTA.
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Updated Date: May 24, 2019 15:33:27 IST