NEW DELHI: The None of the Above (NOTA) option in elections has secured 1,33,09,577 (1.33 crore) votes in state assemblies and Lok Sabha elections combined in the last five years.
The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) on Friday released an analysis of NOTA votes between 2013-2017.
“In last 5 years, NOTA has secured 1,33,09,577 (1.33 crore) votes in state assemblies and Lok Sabha elections combined. In last 5 years, on an average NOTA has secured 2, 70,616 votes (2.70 lakh) in the state assembly elections,” said the ADR report.
The NOTA was introduced in India through the Supreme Court’s judgment dated September 27, 2013 in writ petition (C) No. 161 of 2004, (People's Union for Civil Liberties and another Vs. the Union of India and another).
The SC directed the Election Commission to make necessary provision in the ballot papers/EVMs and provide a button for NOTA on Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) so that the voters who come to the polling booth and decide not to vote for any of the candidates in the fray, are able to exercise their right not to vote while maintaining their right to secrecy.
The provision of NOTA button was first implemented in the state assembly elections of Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh in 2013.
“In 2014, NOTA was first introduced in Lok Sabha elections. Overall, NOTA secured 60,02,942 (1.08 percent) votes. Among the NOTA votes in Lok Sabha elections, the highest number of votes i.e. 46,559 was in Nilgris constituency in Tamil Nadu. The lowest number of votes NOTA secured i.e. 123 votes was in Lakshadweep,” said the ADR.
It added that among state assemblies elections, NOTA has secured the highest percentage of votes in 2015, i.e. 2.08 percent (9, 83,176 votes) in two states assembly elections of Bihar (9, 47,279 votes) and NCT Delhi (35,897 votes).
Since its implementation in 2013, NOTA has secured the highest number of votes in Bihar (9, 47,279 votes) state assembly elections, 2015 and secured the lowest number of votes in Mizoram (3,810 votes) state assembly elections, 2013.
In the bye- elections in Goa, NCT of Delhi and Andhra Pradesh, a large number of people voted for NOTA, making its vote share the third or fourth highest in the respective constituencies.