Chandigarh: Over 58,000 voters in Punjab and 34,225 voters in Haryana outrightly rejected candidates in the Lok Sabha polls as they pressed the None of the Above Option (NOTA) button on EVM machines.
Election Commission had provided NOTA option button in electronic voting machines for voters in the elections for voters who did not want to vote for any of the candidates contesting the polls.
In Punjab, a total of 58,754 voters opted for NOTA button which works out at 0.4 per cent of total votes polled for 13 Lok Sabha seats, as per data available with election office.
NOTA numbers were more than the votes what CPI (54,785) candidates garnered in Punjab.
NOTA option was exercised the most in Ferozepur parliamentary seat where 7,685 voters rejected all the candidates in the fray. From Ferozepur, SAD nominee Sher Singh Ghubaya defeated Congress candidate Sunil Jakhar.
In Punjab`s key constituency Amritsar where former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh trounced BJP leader Arun Jaitley with a handsome margin, as many as 2,533 voters went with NOTA option, as per data.
Sangrur Lok Sabha seat witnessed the least number of people exercising this option as 2,188 voters did not vote for any candidate. Aam Aadmi Party candidate Bhagwant Mann tasted success by defeating SAD candidate Sukhdev Dhindsa by over 2 lakh votes in the seat.
In neighbouring Haryana, a total of 34,225 voters opted for NOTA which worked out to 0.3 per cent of total votes for 10 Lok Sabha seats.
The strength of NOTA was in excess of votes polled to CPI (0.2 per cent) and CPM (0.2 per cent) parties in Haryana, as per data available
NOTA button was pressed the maximum time in Haryana`a Ambala (Reserve) constituency where 7,816 voters went ahead with this option. BJP candidate from this seat humbled Congress candidate Raj Kumar Balmiki with a margin of over 3 lakh votes.
NOTA option was sparingly availed by 1,645 voters in Hisar Lok Sabha seat. From Hisar, INLD candidate Dushyant Chautala defeated HJC nominee Kuldeep Bishoni.
From lone Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat, 3,106 voters (0.68 per cent) rejected all 17 candidates in fray including BJP`s Kirron Kher, Congress` Pawan Kumar Bansal and AAP Gul Panag.
From Chandigarh, Kher defeated Bansal by 69,624 votes.