Source: 
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Date: 
21.12.2017
City: 
Close on the heels of the keenly watched recent assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal, an analytical report based on the website of Election Commission of India (http://eci.nic.in/) shows that it is the none of the above (NOTA) option that is increasingly eroding the credibility of the established political parties. In the recent elections, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged winner with 99 seats in Gujarat and 44 seats in Himachal Pradesh against 77 and 21 won by Indian National Congress (INC), respectively,
 
 
Analysing the election outcome, the Delhi-based Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) points out in a report that NOTA secured a total of 5.52 lakh (1.83%) votes in Gujarat while the corresponding figure for Himachal Pradesh is 34,232 votes (0.90%). In Gujarat, in 92 of the 182 constituencies, NOTA has secured third position in the assembly polls while in Himachal, NOTA was at third position in 14 of the 68 constituencies.  
The number of constituencies where NOTA secured more votes than the margin of victory is as large as 30 (16%) in Gujarat and 4 (6%) in Himachal Pradesh. 
 
 
NOTA has secured the highest number of votes, 6,461, in Danta constituency in the Banaskantha district of Gujarat. This figure is higher than those polled by seven other contesting candidates. Kantibhai Kalabhai Kharadi (INC) has won this seat.
 
Of all the constituencies, the lowest number of votes, 683 for NOTA have been reported from the Mehsana constituency of Gujarat. And yet, this is higher than the number of votes secured by 27 other contesting candidates of the constituency! Nitinbhai Ratilal Patel of the BJP has won this seat by a margin of 7137 votes.
 
Further, there are 30 (16%) constituencies where NOTA has secured more votes than the margin of victory. The significant ones are as follows:
 
 
In Himachal Pradesh, NOTA has secured the highest votes, ie 1162 in the Jogindarnagar constituency, while the lowest number of votes, ie 70, were recorded from Lahul-Spiti. There are 4 (6%) constituencies wherein NOTA won more votes that the margin of victory. They are as follows:  
 
 
The directive to introduce the NOTA option for voters came through a Supreme Court verdict in 2013, in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL). 
  
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