Around 60 lakh voters opted for the ‘None of The Above’ (NOTA) option, more than the votes secured by 21 parties, in this Lok Sabha polls where it was introduced for the first time in any parliamentary election.
While exercising their franchise, country’s 59,97,054 voters punched the NOTA button on the electronic voting machines, which equals to 1.1 per cent of the total votes polled during these elections across 543 seats. The percentage and number of votes under NOTA was more than as many as 21 parties contesting these elections including JD(U), CPI, JD(S), SAD and others.
The maximum percentage of the electorate going for this choice was in Puducherry, with 3 per cent of total votes polled, which comes to a total of 22,268 votes.
This was followed by Meghalaya with 2.8 per cent votes (30,145), Gujarat 1.8 per cent (4,54,880) Chhattisgarh 1.8 per cent (2,24,889), Dadra and Nagar Haveli 1.8 per cent (2,962). The other states with comparatively higher percentage of NOTA includes: , Bihar- 1.6 per cent (5,81,011), Odisha- 1.5 per cent (3,32,780) Mizoram- 1.5 per cent (6,495), Jharkhand- 1.5 per cent (1,90,927), Daman and Diu- 1.5 per cent (1,316).
Also , Sikkim 1.4- per cent (4,332), Tamil Nadu- 1.4 per cent (5,82,062) Madhya Pradesh- 1.3 per cent (3,91,837) Among others are Tripura- 1.2 per cent (23,783), Kerala- 1.2 per cent (2,10,561), Goa- 1.2 per cent (10,103), Rajasthan- 1.2 per cent (3,27,902), Uttarakhand- 1.1 per cent (48,043), West Bengal- 1.1 per cent (5,68,276), Arunachal Pradesh 1.1 per cent (6,321).
The states and UTs with lower percentage of NOTA votes are: Lakshadweep 0.3 per cent (123), Haryana 0.3 per cent (34,225), Nagaland 0.3 per cent (2,696) and Punjab 0.4 per cent (58,754). Besides all these states, NOTA was also chosen by the electorate in variable numbers in other states. In Vadodara, the second seat where BJP’s Prime Minestrial candidate Narendra Modi won the elections, NOTA polled 18,053 votes, third after the runner-up Madhusudan Mistry of the Congress.