NOTA percentage goes up in Maharashtra assembly elections

NOTA percentage goes up in Maharashtra assembly elections

NEW DELHI: The percentage of voters punching in None of the Above or NOTA option in recently-concluded Maharashtra assembly elections has seen a rise compared to 2014 polls.nnIn the October 24 verdict, the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena managed to retain power but ceded considerable ground–the saffron allies collectively lost 23 seats–to rivals NCP and Congress.nnAnalysis shows 7,42,134 voters opted for NOTA as against 4,60,741 votes who had chosen this option in 2014 polls.nnCollectively, the NOTA percentage stood at 1.35 per cent of the total votes cast as against 0.91% of the previous assembly polls.nnThe NOTA option, which indicates voters’ disenchantment with candidates in fray,secured second place in two constituencies which are pocketborough of political heavyweights in the state, which comprises 288 Assembly seats.nnThe NOTA option, however, does not impact the results of the elections.nnIn Latur Rural Assembly segment in Marathwada region, Congress candidate Dhiraj Deshmukh secured 1,35,006 votes (67.64 per cent) whereas NOTA clinched 27,500 votes (13.78 per cent) to secure the second position.nnDhiraj is son of late chief minister and Congress stalwart Vilasrao Deshmukh who hailed from Latur district.nnIn the Palus-Kadegaon Assembly constituency in Sangli district in western Maharashtra, Congress nominee Vishwajeet Kadam emerged a winner with 1,71,497 votes, while NOTA came in second with 20,631 votes.nnVishwajeet is son of Congress stalwart late Patangrao Kadam who had nurtured Palus-Kaedgaon constituency during his long political career.nnNotably, Sanjay Vibhute of the Shiv Sena was relegated to third position in the seat with 8,976 votes.nnIn high-profile Nagpur South West constituency from where Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis got re-elected by defeating his Congress opponent, 3064 electors or 1.59 per cent of the total votes cast pressed NOTA button. Fadnavis secured victory garnering 1,09,237 votes.nnIn another remarkable contest in Worli in Mumbai, from where Shiv Sena’s Aaditya Thackeray made his electoral debut, 6305 voters (4.88 per cent of the total votes cast) opted for NOTA.nnThackeray won by polling 89,248 votes.nnThe NOTA option was first introduced in Maharashtra in the 2014 elections, following a Supreme Court verdict a year earlier.nnThe apex court had then observed that negative voting will lead to a systemic change in polls and political parties will be forced to project clean candidates.nnOn October 24, the BJP won 105 seats and the Sena 56 while the NCP and the Congress bagged 54 and 44 seats, respectively.nnSource: Press Trust of India

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