The NOTA or the ‘none of the above’ option was the sixth most popular press button in the recently-concluded Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly elections, after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). The situation was similar in other states — NOTA outperformed several political parties, including the AAP and Samajwadi Party, that contested the State Assembly Elections in the five states.
In Chhattisgarh, Samajwadi Party, Aam Aadmi Party and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) got 0.2, 0.9 and 0.2 percent votes respectively in Chhattisgarh. The Communist Party of India (CPI) got 0.3 percent votes in the state. While NOTA bagged 2 percent of Votes!
In Madhya Pradesh Assembly Elections, NOTA bagged 1.4 percent of total votes. Whereas Samajwadi Party and Aam Aadmi Party got less than votes bagged by NOTA with 1.3 and 0.7 percent.
In Rajasthan Assembly Elections, The NOTA votes were 1.3 percent. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) and SP got 1.2 percent and 0.2 percent votes respectively. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) received 0.4 percent and 0.3 percent votes each in the state.
In Telangana Vidhan Sabha Assembly polls, NOTA got 1.1 percent of votes while NCP got 0.1 percent of votes. The CPI(M) polled 0.4 percent votes while CPI received 0.4 percent votes.
In Mizoram Assembly Elections, NOTA got 0.5 percent of votes while People’s Represent for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM) got 0.2 percent of votes.
Notably, Bhartiya Janta Party and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh had run a massive campaign on Social Media in October urge voters not to choose NOTA, because by selecting the NOTA option, a voter chooses the “available worst against the available best”.
NOTA was first introduced in 2013 based on the directive of Supreme Court in the People’s Union for Civil Liberties versus Union of India judgment. India was the 14th country to introduce negative voting.