CHENNAI: At least six runners-up were unfortunate this Assembly election as their margin with the winning candidates was much lesser than the votes that went for the NOTA (none of the above) option.
In T Nagar AIADMK candidate B Sathiyanaarayanan had a margin of just 137 votes from the winning candidate from DMK Karunanithi J. The NOTA votes recorded in the constituency were 1,617.
This was the case in Katpadi, Neyveli, Thenkasi, Modakkurichi, and Krishnagiri. Similarly, NOTA trumped at least four smaller parties. Though its votes are spread across all the 234 constituencies, the share secured was more than that of parties, such as DMDK (0.43 per cent) and IUML (0.48) that contested in a few seats.
According to the Election Commission, 0.75 per cent of the total votes were polled for NOTA (none of the above) across the state. The percentage translates to 3,45,538 votes, a figure much lesser than 5.61 lakh votes (1.3 per cent) polled for the last button on the EVM in the 2016 elections.
In most of the rural and urban constituencies, the NOTA votes were pegged in either three or four-digit numbers and independent candidates secured way lesser votes. AMMK and DMDK candidates were seen in a neck-to-neck contest with the NOTA votes in many of the seats.
In the 16 constituencies in Chennai, total NOTA votes polled were around 22,500, with Royapuram (901) and Harbour (912) scoring the lowest and Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni (2,061) scoring the highest. The Election Commission introduced NOTA and allocated a symbol (ballot paper with a black cross) in 2013 as per the directions of the Supreme Court.
In T Nagar, AIADMK candidate B Sathiyanaarayanan lost by just 137 votes against DMK’s J Karunanithi. But NOTA option received 1,617 votes