New Delhi: ‘None of the Above’ or NOTA option on EVMs has been chosen by 1.33 crore voters in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections since it was introduced in 2013, said an election watchdog.
The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch, which analysed the number of votes registered under NOTA category in the last five years, said the exact number of votes under NOTA was 1,33,09,577 in these elections held since 2013, a release said.
A large number of voters opted for NOTA in the byelections in Goa, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh in 2017, making its vote share the third or fourth highest in the respective constituencies.
In Goa byelection in Panaji and Valpoi constituencies, NOTA votes were in third position with 301 (1.94 per cent) and 458 (1.99 per cent) votes respectively.
In the Bawana constituency bypoll in Delhi, NOTA secured the fourth position with 1,413 (1.07 per cent) votes while it secured the fourth position with 1,231 (0.71 per cent) votes in the byelection in Andra Pradesh’s Nandyal constituency.
It secured more votes than 12 other candidates contesting from Nandyal.
When NOTA was first introduced in the Lok Sabha elections in 2014, it secured 60,02,942 (1.08 per cent) votes.
“Among the NOTA votes in Lok Sabha elections, the highest number of votes — 46,559 –was registered in Nilgris constituency in Tamil Nadu. The lowest number of votes the NOTA secured — 123 — was in Lakshadweep,” as per the release.
NOTA secured the highest percentage of vote share– 3.06 per cent –in Chhattisgarh assembly election in 2013 and the lowest percentage of vote share — 0.40 per cent — in Delhi assembly elections in 2015.
It has secured 2.68 per cent votes (39,896) in 10 constituencies of Chhattisgarh.
Assembly constituency-wise, NOTA has secured as high as 17,510 votes in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli and as low as seven votes in Mariyang Geku in Arunachal Pradesh .
In the Municipal Corporations elections in Delhi and Maharashtra, NOTA secured the highest percentage of vote share — 4.58 per cent –in Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation and the lowest percentage of vote share — 0.58 per cent — in the East Delhi Municipal Corporation.