NOTA stands for “None of the above” and means “against all” or “scratch” vote. It is a ballet option in some jurisdictions and organizations.
A few days ago Congress had shown it’s discontentment with the NOTA (None of the above) option in the Rajya Sabha elections from Gujarat legislature. It claimed that it violated the Constitution and electoral laws, however, the poll panel maintained that it was not a new direction and was introduced in 2014. Since BJP is already putting in everything it can to defeat Ahmed Patel in the elections, NOTA option just becomes another disruption and confirmation of BJP’s victory. Ahmed Patel tweeted on August 1 – “First Rajya Sabha election was postponed, Second NOTA was permitted post notification. Reasons best known to the Election Commission.” And hence, the petition by Parmar.
Minister of State of Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, “NOTA is fine in the case of direct elections but in the case of Rajya Sabha elections it should be withdrawn. This option should be eliminated as it creates confusion.’’
Surprisingly, even Bharatiya Janata Party is not happy with the NOTA option and both the parties are on the same page. The party said that since there is no secrecy in the Rajya Sabha elections, NOTA is of no use. As it had become an issue between the political parties, Supreme Court agreed to have a hearing for the same on August 3rd.
Earlier today, the apex court agreed to examine the constitutional validity of the August 1 notification of the Election Commission allowing the NOTA option. Much to Congress dismay, SC said that this is a constitutional issue and is highly debatable. It has asked the Election Commission to respond in two weeks to the Congress petition disallowing NOTA. It has set September 18 as the date to hear the arguments and so the Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections are on August 8 will have the NOTA option.
BJP president Amit Shah, Union minister Smriti Irani and Congress candidate Ahmed Patel are contesting for the same.