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BJP Congress unite in saying No to NOTA in Rajya Sabha Polls

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Guwahati: In a rare instance, BJP and Congress have come together in agreeing to demand discontinuance of NOTA (None of the above) option in Rajya Sabha Polls as it is “not suitable” in indirect elections. The Supreme Court has shown acknowledgment and hinted at scrapping the None of the above option in Rajya Sabha Polls.

This unified move by BJP and Congress leaves the Election Commission isolated as it was defending the None of the Above option in Rajya Sabha elections since January 2014. The Supreme Court had in 2013ordered NOTA for voters in general elections.

Attorney General KK Venugopal said that the Centre supported the petition filed by Shailesh Manubhai Parmar, Gujrat Congress party chief who had rushed to the court in August 2017.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud after listening to the petitioner advocated by AM Singhvi said that the Supreme Court Judgement was to give citizens the option of NOTA in general elections.

“EC appears to be extending its arms to areas where it is not necessary. Not voting in RS elections by an MLA is acceptable. But what we cannot tolerate is EC giving the MLAs the Nota option. An MLA is not voting for himself alone. His vote carries values and he cannot turn this value to zero by opting for NOTA. By NOTA, EC is legitimizing the MLAs’ decision to break ranks with party decision and discipline. ” Supreme Court said.