Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Understanding The NOTA Vote

Outlook Web Desk

What Is NOTA?

NOTA, or 'None Of The Above', is an option for voters on the Electronic Voting Machine incase they do not want to cast their vote for any of the candidates or political parties in their respective constituency.


When Was NOTA First Used?

NOTA as an option was first used in 2013 during assembly elections in five states - Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Delhi, and Madhya Pradesh.


Why Was It Introduced?

First introduced in 2013, the NOTA option was added for the benefit of the voters. Based on the judgement passed in 2013, the Supreme Court observed that the NOTA option was vital for a "democracy to survive".

The recent cases of BJP's Surat Win and Congress' betrayal in Indore have brought NOTA into the spotlight.


Congress' Indore Candidate Defects To BJP

Congress' Indore candidate Akshay Kanti Bam decided to withdraw his nomination from the party on the last day of the nominations. Adding salt to the wound, Bam left Congress and defected to BJP. However, now, in order to "teach BJP a lesson", Congress has appealed to voters to choose the NOTA option instead of voting for BJP candidate Shankar Lalwani.


BJP's Unopposed Win in Surat

BJP's Mukesh Dalal saw an unopposed victory in Surat after the Congress candidate's nomination was rejected and all other opponents withdrew their nominations. In light of BJP's win, the question of NOTA arose. Opposition and many others took to social media to question this win and stated that voters should have an option to use NOTA.


NOTA - A Wasted Vote?

As a voice for the people, NOTA does matter and if it wins, it shows that the voters are not happy with the candidates. However, when it comes to the counting of votes, NOTA is often considered a "wasted vote" as the candidate who comes in after NOTA is selected as the winner.


Supreme Court's Notice TO EC Over NOTA

After BJP's win in Surat, the Supreme Court of India issued a notice to the Election Commission regarding a plea seeking fresh elections in constituencies where NOTA receives a majority vote. As per this plea, in areas where NOTA gets the majority, new candidates and fresh elections should be conducted.


Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Last 3 Phases Left

The Lok Sabha Elections 2024 are almost halfway done. Phase 4 is scheduled to begin on May 13 and a total of 96 constituencies will head to the polls across 10 states.