NATIONAL NEWS

2019 Polls May Not See Much Change In NOTA Proportion

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New Delhi: With ballot option NOTA (None of The Above) seen to play a role in poll outcomes, especially in seats won by narrow margins, there is growing interest in its impact in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections results expected on May 23. NOTA — which allows voters to indicate their disapproval of the candidates in the fray — impacted poll results since its introduction in the Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections in 2013 following a Supreme Court verdict. It attracts more votes than the combined vote of smaller parties and several political parties blame it for the seats they lose by narrow margins.

Experts however, feel that the proportion of NOTA votes may not increase in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls and that major parties may only benefit from narrow margin victories in varying degrees. “The percentage of NOTA votes is unlikely to significantly change in these elections from 2014,” said Sanjay Kumar, Director, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS).

Maj. Gen. Anil Verma (retired) of the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), however, felt the percentage of votes polled for NOTA may see a marginal rise this time. “Urban voters exercise the option more than the rural ones, who are not aware of it.  (IANS)

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