What will happen if NOTA votes are more than votes of candidate, churning on in ECI?
New Delhi, Dec 11: The issue of NOTA has once again cropped up in the Assembly elections in the five states and Election Commission of India is discussing the situation when NOTA votes are more than votes polled by winning candidate, then what should happen. People in huge number voted for NOTA. The Election Commission has asked for suggestion from political parties on this issue.
Out of five states that have undergone elections, Rajasthan got 1,71,370 votes polled under NOTA that is 1.4 per cent, Madhya Pradesh 1,20,522 votes that is 1.5 per cent, Telengana 98336 that is 1.1 per cent, Chattisgarh 47048 that is 2.4 per cent and Mizoran 2020 that is 0.4 per cent. Earlier in Karnataka elections 3,22,829 that is 0.9 per cent votes have been polled. As per the information, after the NOTA was started in 2013 over 1.33 crore voters cast their votes for it including Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. Elections in five states too have seen people voting for NOTA and 4.39 lakh people voted for NOTA.
Actually in the recently held local body elections in Haryana, state election commission decided to re-poll in five districts where NOTA got more votes than a candidate and it was decided that NOTA will be considered a candidate. State election commission official had said that NOTA will be considered a candidate and in case of re-election all the candidate in the fray will become invalid.
The similar decision was taken by the Maharashtra state election commission in which it was decided that if more votes are polled to NOTA than by a candidate, election will be held again and no one will be declared victorious. Though there is no clear guidelines in the NOTA rules on this issue. Sources in the election commission said that the commission has all options open which is acctually in favour of amendment in the section 64 of the election procedure rules of 1961 and very soon will make some amendment in it.
Former Chief Election Commission S Y Qureshi term the decision taken by Maharashtra and Haryana state elections wrong and said that re-polling in such situation is illegal. According to Qureishi, in case NOTA gets more votes polled re-election cannot be forced. He said that even if in any election NOTA gets 99 votes out of 100 and candidate gets just one vote in such a situation candidate should be declared victorious.
He said that the Supreme Court of India ruled that everyone has the right to negate voting to everyone. NOTA getting more votes cannot be considered loss of other candidate. NOTA means voter wants to keep himself away from this election and wants to maintain secrecy so no one casts fake vote on behalf of him.
One the other hand sources in the election commission said that election commission does not have any power to get re-election done. The commission sources said that to get re-election done change in section 64 will be required. Declaration of election result and re-election come under Section 64. It is also not mention in Section 64 that what should be done if more votes are polled under NOTA.