TIRUCHY: With multi-cornered contest becoming inevitable, even the smallest margin in the number of votes polled would play a big role in the upcoming polls. As such, it has become all the more important for political parties to ensure that no NOTA votes are polled.
None of the Above (NOTA) is a ballot option, designed to allow voter to indicate disapproval of all of the candidates in a voting system. It is fast becoming a trend and has the potential to ruin many political careers.
For instance, in the 2011 Assembly polls, 25,124 NOTA votes polled were across the State while the Lok Sabha polls in 2014 witnessed a whopping 5.68 lakh NOTA votes amounting to 1.4 per cent of the total votes polled. The concept of opting for NOTA is on the rise among voters and experts expect it to reach 2 per cent in the upcoming Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu. During the 2011 assembly polls, 24,859 NOTA were recorded among which Chennai topped with 3,407, followed by Kancheepuram (1397), Tiruvallur (1347, Tirupur (1306) and the Nilgiris (1306), while Ariyalur secured the least number with 106.
However, the NOTA toppled many candidates during 2014 Lok Sabha polls when a total of 5,68,809 voters opted for it across the State.
Nilgiris polled 46,559 votes while Sriperumbudur secured 27,676. However, interestingly, NOTA played spoil sport in too many segments where candidates had the least margin. The break-up was obtained from Dr S Rajanayagam, professor of the Visual Communication Department of Loyola College and director of the People Studies, which conducted a survey on NOTA in 2015.