As the Assembly election results come to the final stage, all the five states that went to polls already have clear winners. However, it seems that a good number of those who voted in these states opted were clearly not happy with the candidates.
Statistics given by the Election Commission show that apart from Kerala, all the other four states saw more than 1 per cent of voters choosing to not vote for any of the parties running for the polls.
While 1.1% of voters in Assam exercised the ‘none of the above’ option or NOTA option, in Tamil Nadu the number was 1.3 per cent, and 1.5 per cent in West Bengal. Tiny Puducherry had the highest rate at 1.7 per cent. In Kerala, 0.5% of voters did not vote for any of the contestants.
The option of NOTA was introduced by the Supreme Court in September 2013, on the suggestion of the Election Commission. The reasoning behind the introduction of the NOTA was to make available an option to voters to reject all candidates, thereby making it necessary for political parties to only nominate clean candidates.
The NOTA made its debut in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Approximately 59.59 lakh voters, which made up 1.1 per cent those who voted, had made the NOTA their choice.