Small, but Significant Start to NOTA
The much-discussed None Of the Above (NOTA) seemed to have no impact on the Assembly polls in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.But, the option had its visible impact on the poll outcome in many constituencies in the Maoist-hit areas of Chhattisgarh where 4.6 per cent NOTA use was registered.
Chitrakot constituency polled highest number of NOTA votes — 10,848. Those who used NOTA in Dantewada constituency was more than the margin with which Devti Karma, wife of slain Congress leader Mahendra Karma, defeated her nearest rival Bhimaram Mandavi. She won by a margin of 5,987 votes, whereas 9,670 voters opted for the NOTA.
The New Delhi constituency where Arvind Kejriwal defeated three-time Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit recorded 460 NOTA votes.
A total of 0.63 per cent voters chose NOTA in Delhi, 1.9 per cent in Rajasthan and 1.4 per cent in Madhya Pradesh.
In Chhattisgarh, 2,042 people used NOTA option in Raman Singh’s constituency Rajnandgaon, where Singh won by over 30,000 votes. At least 1,500 used it in Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s seat.
For the first time, the Election Commission had introduced the NOTA as a major step towards electoral reforms after a recent Supreme Court order.