Although hailed as a historic electoral reform, the ‘None of The Above’ (NOTA) option did not find many takers during the general elections in the national capital on Thursday.
As Delhi witnessed a tripartite electoral battle between BJP, Congress and Aam Aadmi Party, there were many voters who seemed disenchanted with the candidates but still chose not to tap the newly included NOTA button considering it as “wastage of vote.”
On being asked about its relevance, a female voter in Laxmi Nagar said, “We could have stayed back at home instead of coming here to vote. I am not standing in this queue to go and press the NOTA button. It is useless.”
Rishi, a 24-year-old first time voter lacked the vigour of a quintessential first timer and said, “I am disappointed with the political system of our country. I am not even excited to cast my first ever Lok Sabha vote.
“I know I will be wasting my vote, but NOTA is weighing over my mind as I enter the polling station because I don’t think NOTA would make a difference,” he said before casting his vote at Kutcha Natwa in Chandni Chowk constituency.
The Supreme Court in its direction provided NOTA option on the Electronic Voting Machine and ballot papers so that the electors who do not want to vote for any of the candidates can exercise this option in secrecy.
The apex court’s judgement was first implemented after the option was made available in the Assembly polls in five states last year, including Delhi.
While the general trend in Chandni Chowk and East Delhi constituency dubbed the new option as “wastage of voting power” and termed it “stupid”, NOTA found a handful of takers in South Delhi and New Delhi constituencies.
“I don’t want NOTA because when I came to the polling station I know which party to vote for. If you have a choice then why waste the vote,” said Shiv Sahay Gupta, 59, who voted in South Delhi constituency.
“I got to know about the NOTA option from various campaigns and also through newspapers. But I didn’t exercise it because I believe using that option is like boycotting the elections,” said Sunanda, a Delhi University student.