The Election Commission on 3 August 2017 rejected the demands of the political parties to remove the None of the Above (NOTA) option in the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat.
The Commission said that the NOTA option will be applicable in the Rajya Sabha Elections in Gujarat. The electoral body made this announcement in the wake of protests by the opposition against the insertion of the option.
On 1 August, the Congress had approached the EC seeking removal of the option, claiming it violated the Constitution and the electoral laws.
A day later, the BJP also approached the EC with a similar demand. The party said in a memorandum to the EC that the use of NOTA in the upcoming elections has become an issue of contention and debate among the political parties and therefore, a proper consensus should be made before its use in the Rajya Sabha election.
The party argued that since there was no secrecy for the voting in the election, the option of NOTA would not be of much use and therefore, the party demands that the direction for using NOTA option in the election for Rajya Sabha in the state of Gujarat be withdrawn with immediate effect.
Explaining the contention, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, the Minister of State of Parliamentary Affairs said that the parties issue whip for these elections and NOTA option goes against the nature of the whip. He elaborated by saying, “NOTA is fine in case of direct elections but in case of Rajya Sabha elections, it should be withdrawn, as it creates confusion.
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