Gujarat Assembly Election results 2017: Over 5 lakh opted for NOTA, says EC data
The tough battle between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress, early vote count trends show that independents and NOTA (none of the above) will play an important role in the Gujarat elections.
In percentage terms, 1.8 per cent voters in Gujarat pressed the NOTA button on electronic voting machines in Gujarat, as against 0.9 per cent in the hill state (over 33,000 voters).
In case of Gujarat, the NOTA vote share 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.
In Himachal Pradesh, BJP has got 48.7 per cent votes as against the Congress' 41.8 per cent, while independents got 6.3 per cent. CPM also managed to score more than the NOTA with 1.5 per cent votes.
In Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani's Rajkot West seat, the NOTA votes were more than 3,300, while the same in Vadgam (where Congress-supported independent Jignesh Mevani won) were over 4,200. In Godhra also, NOTA counted over 3,000.
NOTA was introduced by the election commission of India on October 11, 2013, following a supreme court order on September 27.
Meanwhile, political analysts had predicted that NOTA could prove to be a spoiler for the BJP in the assembly election.
Political analysts felt that some caste groups and also sections of small and medium entrepreneurs, who seem to be unhappy with the BJP over the GST, may make use of that.
The BJP, however, dismissed the suggestion that NOTA could prove to be a spoiler as the party was confident of the popular appeal of its policies as reflected by the outcome of the recent panchayat polls.
The counting of votes for 68 Assembly seats in Himachal Pradesh and 182 constituencies in Gujarat began this morning. Himachal Pradesh went to polls on November 9, while elections were held in two phases in Gujarat on December 9 and 14.