5.5 lakh voters opted for NOTA in elections to Gujarat, PM Modi’s home state

NEW DELHI: In PM Modi’s home state, over 5.5 lakh voters opted for NOTA (None of the above) button. In terms of percentage, 1.8% voters in Gujarat pressed the NOTA button. In Himachal Pradesh, the percentage of voters opted for NOTA is 0.9% (over 33,000 voters).

The NOTA option enables a voter to officially and secretly register a vote of rejection of all contesting candidates.

The NOTA vote share in Gujarat was higher than that of any party other than the Congress and the BJP. While the BJP has secured over 49 per cent votes, the Congress got nearly 41.4 per cent and independents across the state together polled 4.3 per cent.

Rajkot West seat, from where Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani contested, the NOTA votes were more than 3300. While in case of Vadgam (where Congress-supported independent Jignesh Mevani won) the NOTA votes were over 4200.

In case of Godhra, NOTA was opted by more than 3000.

NOTA was introduced for the first time in 2014 Lok Sabha polls during which close to 60 lakh voters (1.1 per cent) opted for this option.

When Voting was through ballot papers before introduction of EVMs, voters could put in the ballot paper without marking against any candidate thereby rejecting all candidates. Such a vote was counted as a rejection.