After Congress, BJP meets Election Commission to discuss removal of NOTA

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Aug 02, 2017, 03:22 PM IST
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The None Of The Above (NOTA) option will be available for the first time in upcoming Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat. Photograph:(ANI)

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A board of members of the BJP tried to convince Election Commission officials to remove the voting option

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday asked the Election Commission to remove the "None of the Above" option (NOTA) for voters, stating that there was a lack of consensus among parties and that the option was creating "confusion".

NOTA will be available to voters for the first time during the assembly elections in Gujarat.

A board of members of the BJP tried to convince Election Commission officials to remove the voting option, a day after the Congress party made a similar demand.

The Congress also moved the Supreme Court today (August 2). The top court is likely to hear the matter tomorrow.

In a memorandum to the Election Commission, the BJP said, "It is submitted that the use of NOTA in the upcoming poll has become an issue of debate among the political parties and therefore, a proper consensus should be made before the use of NOTA in election in Rajya Sabha."

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that the introduction of the voting option on the ballot paper during the Rajya Sabha elections had created a lot of confusion.

"Rajya Sabha elections are indirect elections where the original feeling is that NOTA will harm the Rajya Sabha elections, and so we have demanded that NOTA tatkal should be ended and so that fair elections can take place," he said.

The legislators who will cast vote in the August 8 Rajya Sabha election in Gujarat, will have the option of NOTA.

The Congress has been protesting since the Election Commission has notified the NOTA option.

The party will also issue a whip to all MLAs, including Shankersinh Vaghela who resigned last month, to ensure that Ahmed Patel is voted back into the Rajya Sabha.

Despite the fact that six of its legislators from Gujarat have joined the BJP, the Congress is leaving no stone unturned to secure Rajya Sabha berth for its lone candidate Ahmed Patel.

The BJP has fielded party president Amit Shah, Union Minister Smriti Irani and Balwantsinh Rajput against Ahmed Patel.

Rajya Sabha elections do not take place by secret ballot. The voter has to show the marked ballot to the party's polling agent before putting it in the ballot box.