Gujarat: BJP first, Congress 2nd, NOTA comes third with 5.5 lakh votes
Over 5.5 lakh voters in Gujarat exercised the None of the Above (NOTA) option in the assembly elections.
In terms of percentage, 1.8 percent voters in Gujarat pressed the NOTA button on electronic voting machines in Gujarat, as against 0.9 percent 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 percent votes, the Congress got nearly 41.4 percent and independents across the state together polled 4.3 percent.
In Himachal Pradesh, BJP has got 48.7 per cent votes as against the Congress' 41.8 percent, while independents got 6.3 percent. CPM also managed to score more than the NOTA with 1.5 percent of the 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.
The NOTA option enables a voter to officially and secretly register a vote of rejection of all contesting candidates.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, when NOTA was introduced for the first time in any parliamentary election, close to 60 lakh voters (1.1 percent) opted for this option, which was more than the votes polled for more than 20 parties.
Before the introduction of EVMs, when voting was done through ballot papers, voters could put in the ballot paper without marking against any candidate thereby rejecting all candidates. Such a vote was counted as a rejection. However, this rejection option was not available to voters on the EVM and therefore the NOTA button was introduced.