More than 5.5 lakh voters, amounting to 1.8% of the total eligible votes, chose to express their dislike for all the contesting candidates in the Gujarat Assembly election by opting for the None Of The Above (NOTA) button, while there was also an almost 3% drop in the overall turnout compared to the 2012 polls.
Of the 182 constituencies, nearly 100 recorded more than 3,000 NOTA entries and over 5,000 in as many as 16 constituencies. The maximum of 6,461 was reported from Danta, while Jetpur registered 6,155 NOTA votes. During the 2012 election in Gujarat, there was no provision for NOTA buttons.
The overall figure of 1.8% NOTA, as recorded by the Election Commission till Monday evening, was even higher than that of the votes received individually by parties like the Nationalist Congress Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the newly floated Bhartiya Tribal Party. However, the total vote percentage for independent candidates stood at 4.3%.
An analysis of the vote share revealed that NOTA votes were more than or close to the winning margins in about two dozen constituencies. In Godhra where the BJP candidate won by a margin of 258 votes, there were 3,050 NOTA votes. Likewise, there was a winning margin of just 327 votes for the BJP candidate in Dholka, and 2,347 NOTA votes were polled. The winning margin for the Congress candidate in Jetpur was 3,152 votes, while 6,155 NOTA votes had been polled there.