Nine constituencies out of the 126 in Assam witnessed the phenomenon of the number of NOTA votes exceeding the margin of victory.
The BJP’s Kishor Nath, who contested in Barkhola, was lucky that 1,621 voters expressed lack of faith in any of the candidates in the field by opting for NOTA. He edged out Independent candidate Misbaul Islam Laskar by as few as 42 votes.
Chandan Kumar Sarkar of the Congress, who lost by a slender margin of 189 votes in Abhayapuri South (SC), may not have been happy that 1,113 voters opted for NOTA.
Assam saw a marginal increase in the percentage of voters opting for the ‘None of the Above’ option over the figure for the 2014 Lok Sabha election. As many as 1,47,057 voters, accounting for one per cent of the total valid votes, pressed the NOTA button in 2014.
In the just-concluded Assembly election, the figure rose to 1,87,169, or 1.12 per cent of the total votes cast. The number of NOTA votes is in keeping with the national average of 1.1 per cent in the last Lok Sabha polls.Puducherry highest
The Union Territory of Puducherry logged the country’s highest proportion of votes in the NOTA category. While recording a high polling 85.07 percentage (the total electorate is about 9.41 lakh), Puducherry registered 1.65 per cent NOTA votes, totalling 13,240 votes.
NOTA votes (349) exceeded the margin of victory in the sole seat of Karaikal South where DMK’s sitting MLA A.M.H. Nazeem lost to AIADMK’s K.A.U. Asana by a margin of 20 votes. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections too, Puducherry registered the highest number of NOTA votes in the country — 22,268 votes, or three per cent of the votes.