Bihar was leading the tally of voters opting for the None of The Above (NOTA) option while exercising their franchise in the 17th Lok Sabha polls.
As per election commission data at midnight, the NOTA vote share stood at about 2 per cent of the total votes polled in the state, where results of almost all the 40 seats had been declared.
In the states of UP, Gujarat and West Bengal, 0.84 per cent, 1.38 per cent, 0.96 per cent votes were cast in favour of NOTA. The counting was still on for a few seats in each of these states.
The percentage of votes for NOTA, or the none-of-the-above option, this year has remained virtually unchanged from last time, according to data from the Election Commission (EC) website.
In 2019, about 1.04% of the voters felt that none of the candidates deserved their vote. In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, this was around 1.08% of the voters.
The 2019 Lok Sabha elections stretched over six weeks and registered the highest voter turnout in the history of the Lok Sabha election. The final voter turnout stood at 67.11%, according to the EC.
However, NOTA numbers varied widely across States, with a high of 2.08% in Assam and Bihar to 0.65% in Sikkim.
According to records from the Association For Democratic Reforms (ADR), a research agency, the number of NOTA options in 2014 was about 60,00,197 ( around 60 lakh) with the highest percentage from Bastar, Chhattisgarh with 38,772 (5.04%) votes followed by Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu with 46,559 (4.99%) and Nabarangpur of Odisha with 44,408 (4.34%) votes.
NOTA, which was introduced in India following a 2013 Supreme Court directive, allows voters to express their dissent by pressing a button saying none of the contestants are worthy of their vote.
In 2019 elections, in the key constituency of Varanasi the seat from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi contested the elections and won saw 4,037 voters (0.38 per cent) opting for NOTA.
The constituencies of Kerala’s Wayanad where Congress scion Rahul Gandhi won from saw 2,155 voters (0.2 per cent) pressing the NOTA button.
Amongst other key constituencies where results had been declared, Amit Shah’s Gandhinagar constituency saw 14214 (1.11 per cent) NOTA votes, Ravi Shankar Prasad’s Patna Sahib constituency saw 5076 (0.52 per cent), and Gautam Gambhir’s East Delhi constituency had 4920 (0.39 per cent) such votes.