Bihar is in the no 1 ranking! The state registered about 8 lakh NOTA votes. That means, about 8 lakh people went to polling booths and recorded their disappointment and rejection of all the candidates. In 17 constituencies, the NOTA vote share was above 2%.
“It’s not surprising at all,” said Manoj Patel, a voter who chose the ‘None of the Above’ button. “The choice before me, and perhaps other thinking citizens also, was a party that is destroying my very idea of nationalism and Indian constitution on one hand, and a whole lot of dubious characters on the other. I certainly was not voting for a woman at whose wedding her father’s goons raided all the automobile showrooms and ‘borrowed’ cars! In fact, three members of my family chose NOTA.”
Bihar registered the maximum None of The Above (NOTA) votes of about 8 lakh, with the highest share of 5.04% reported from the Gopalganj constituency, according to the Election Commission.
In Gopalganj, 51,660 voters rejected all the candidates. Neelanjan Sircar, a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, said the constituency has a large migrant population.
The high NOTA percentage was an indicator that people were frustrated with the state of affairs in their constituency, did not find any of the candidates worthy enough and therefore, even after reaching the polling station, decided to press the NOTA button.
In 17 constituencies of Bihar, the NOTA vote share was above 2%. While in Paschim Champaran, the figure stood at 4.51%, it was 4.16% in Jamui and 4.73% in Nawada.
Bastar second highest
Constituency wise, the second highest NOTA of 4.56% was reported from Bastar in Chhattisgarh, where 41,667 voters chose to register their indifference or disdain for all the candidates. Three constituencies in the State had NOTA share of more than 2%.
In Andhra Pradesh, the fourth highest NOTA figure of 4.46%, involving 47,977 voters, was recorded in Araku and in only five constituencies of the State, was it below 1%.
Gujarat, where the highest of 3% was seen in Dahod, had only eight constituencies where the NOTA share was below 1%; while in Haryana, nine of the 10 seats registered less than 1% voters rejecting all candidates.
In as many as 23 constituencies of Karnakata, NOTA vote share was again less than 1% and the highest of 1.39% was in Uttara Kannada in the State. In Kerala and Delhi, all the constituencies had below 1% NOTA share.
Most of the voters in Madhya Pradesh made a choice. In 18 constituencies, less than 1% of the electors did not find any worthy candidate. The highest NOTA figure in the State, of 2.53%, was reported from Ratlam.
In Maharashtra also, there were only two constituencies — Gadchiroli-Chimur and Palghar — where the figure was above 2%.
However, all the constituencies in West Bengal (where 21 seats had less than 1% NOTA share), Tamil Nadu and Telangana had NOTA vote shares below 2%.
In Uttar Pradesh, 56 constituencies had less than 1% of the voters not opting for any candidate and exercising their right to record their decision.
In only one constituency, Robertsganj, did NOTA’s share rise above 2%.
The lowest NOTA share of 0.17% was reported from Bidar in Karnataka. In terms of numbers, only 100 NOTA votes were cast in Lakshadweep.