The Ambala parliamentary constituency in Haryana stood third after Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and Kangra in Himachal Pradesh in the four northern states in terms of the use of “None of the above” (NOTA) option in the Lok Sabha elections.
In J&K, 31,550 voters and 29,155 in HP — 0.9% of the total votes polled in respective cases — pressed the NOTA button. The NOTA option that was introduced for the first time in these Lok Sabha elections got 1.1% votes across the country.
Meanwhile, 58,754 (0.4 %) voters opted for NOTA in Punjab and 34,225 (0.3%) in Haryana. Among the parliamentary constituencies (PC) in the region, Udhampur recorded the highest 10,478 voters opting for NOTA in J&K, which has six PCs. Kangra in HP came next with 8,704 NOTA votes polled in four PCs.
Third on the NOTA list is Ambala (7,816) in Haryana followed by Shimla (7,787) in HP, both reserved seats. Among the top seats where NOTA votes were the highest, four are reserved constituencies.
Elsewhere, NOTA was pressed 7,685 times in Punjab’s Ferozepur that stood fifth on the list. At 1,645, the lowest number of NOTA votes were registered in Hisar, Haryana.
In HP, more than 600 NOTA votes were recorded in three assembly segments: Chamba (688), Shahpur (617) and Dharamsala (635) of Kangra PC, followed by Shimla (617) assembly segment in Shimla PC.
More than 500 NOTA votes were recorded in Kangra PC assembly segments: Bhattiyat (594), Nagrota (566), Dalhousie (551), Sullah (550), Jawali (530) and Baijnath (515).
Other assembly segments of Himachal namely Anni (592) and Rampur (513) in Mandi PC also recorded a significant number of NOTA votes. In Shimla PC, NOTA votes were polled in Paonta Sahib (599), Nahan (590), Solan (544), Shillai (547) and Rohru (532) assembly segments.
On September 27 last year, the Supreme Court had empowered the Indian citizens with the right to take a decision that none of the contesting candidates is worth their vote.
The apex court bench headed by then chief justice of India P Sathasivam on a public interest litigation filed by NGO People’s Union for Civil Liberties had directed the Election Commission to give NOTA button on electronic voting machines. The NOTA facility was provided in the assembly elections held in five states in December 2013.