NOTA makes a mark in many constituencies of Karnataka

It is an issue of citizenship, where voters are expressing unhappiness on the democratic set-up,” he said.
Image used for representative purposes only
Image used for representative purposes onlyPhoto | Vinay Madapu, EPS

BENGALURU: Apart from the winners and losers of the Lok Sabhba polls, the results of which were announced on Tuesday, considerable attention was hogged by the None of the Above (NOTA) option. As per final reports from the election commission, the number of NOTA votes secured across the state was 2,18,300, a vote share of 0.56%. This is marginally less compared to the 2019 polls, wherein there were 2,50,810 NOTA votes, a vote share of 0.72%.

According to data, the highest NOTA votes were in Dakshina Kannada (23,576) followed by Bangalore North (13,554) and Bangalore Central (12,126). The least number of NOTA votes were in Chikkodi (2,608).

Psephologist Sandeep Shastry said voters opting for NOTA shows that they either reject the candidates or express their dissent against democracy. It is their way of protesting against the political set-up. It also shows what the voters want to say that they are committed voters, but they are unhappy either with the coalition the party has got into or they are unhappy with the candidate who is contesting.

Chandan Gowda, political expert, noted that political parties will not take note of this. “It is inconsequential to them, but we should not ignore it. It is a sign of voter dissatisfaction of the choice of candidate. It also shows that there is a need for better candidates and better issues to be debated upon. It is an issue of citizenship, where voters are expressing unhappiness on the democratic set-up,” he said.

Political experts said there is now a need to ascertain whether more urban or rural voters opted for NOTA and in which constituency. A comparison of this to that of the previous years will be an interesting trend to assess.

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