The NDA may have swept Bihar, nevertheless, the State topped the NOTA charts in India with over 8 lakh voters exercising that option in the State. It forms 2 per cent of the votes polled in the State. Daman and Diu (1.7 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (1.49 per cent) and Chhattisgarh (1.44 per cent) followed in the list.
As per the election commission data, the NOTA vote share stood at about 2 per cent of the total votes polled in Bihar, where results of almost all the 40 seats had been declared. There was five constituency in the State which saw 30,000 to 50,000 votes cast in favour of NOTA while 17 constituencies saw over 20,000 votes in favour of NOTA.
In States of Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and West Bengal, 0.84 per cent, 1.38 per cent, 0.96 per cent votes were cast in favour of NOTA. The counting was still on for a few seats in each of these States.
NOTA, which was introduced in India following a 2013 Supreme Court directive, allows voters to express their dissent by pressing a button saying none of the contestants are worthy of their vote.
As per EC’s data, more than 1.54 lakh voters exercised NOTA option in Punjab where the Congress registered an impressive victory by winning eight of the 13 Lok Sabha seats in the general election. As many as 1,54,423 voters (1.12 per cent of total votes polled) pressed the NOTA option, as per election office data. Among 13 Lok Sabha seats, it was Faridkot constituency where the maximum number of voters rejected the candidates. A total of 19,246 voters in Faridkot went for NOTA, as per EC data available.
Over 33,000 NOTA votes were polled in Himachal Pradesh, where the ruling BJP swept the Lok Sabha elections winning all four seats in the State. The saffron party won Mandi, Shimla, Hamirpur, and Kangra with record margins of about four lakh votes in each of the constituencies. As many as 33,008 voters chose the NOTA option. In this way, 0.87 per cent voters opted for NOTA out of the total 38,01, 793 votes polled in the state on 19 May, an election official said. Besides, 8,208 (0.22 per cent) votes were rejected for the four Lok Sabha seats of the hill-State, he added.
The highest 11,327 voters chose NOTA in Kangra, followed by 8,357 in
Shimla, 8,026 in Hamirpur and 5,298 in Mandi, the official said. He said a total of 29,032 voters (0.9 per cent) had opted for NOTA in the 2014 parliamentary elections.
A high profile New Delhi constituency in the national Capital, which saw the lowest turnout, had the second highest number of NOTA votes at 6,601 accounting for 0.72 per cent of their total polling. North East Delhi saw the highest voter turnout but received the least number of NOTA votes at 4,589 accounting for 0.31 per cent of the total votes cast in the constituency. The percentage of NOTA votes polled in Chandni Chowk, East Delhi, South Delhi, and West Delhi stood at 0.52 per cent, 0.39 per cent, 0.43 per cent, and 0.62 per cent respectively.
In Jammu & Kashmir, about 8,000 voters opted for NOTA button in elections to the Baramulla Parliamentary constituency which was won by National Conference’s Mohammad Akbar Lone. In Baramulla constituency of north Kashmir, 7,999 voters pressed the NOTA button. NOTA secured 1.79 per cent of the total votes polled in the constituency.
In 2019 elections, in the key constituency of Varanasi — the seat from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi contested the elections and won — saw 4,037 voters (0.38 per cent) opting for NOTA.
Amongst other key constituencies where results had been declared, Amit Shah’s Gandhinagar constituency saw 14214 (1.11 per cent) NOTA votes and Ravi Shankar Prasad’s Patna Sahib Constituency saw 5076 (0.52 per cent). The constituencies of Kerala’s Wayanad — where Congress scion Rahul Gandhi won from — saw 2,155 voters (0.2 per cent) pressing the NOTA button.
In 2014 Lok Sabha polls, where it was introduced for the first time in any parliamentary election, around 60 lakh voters had opted for the NOTA option — equalling about 1.1 per cent of the total votes polled during those elections across 543 seats.