Zee Media Bureau/Sushmita Dutta
New Delhi: The Election Commission on Monday announced that higher number of None of the Above (NOTA) votes will have no effect on the winning chances of a candidate in the upcoming elections when the person has bagged the majority of votes.
“Candidate who seeks majority of votes will be declared elected even if no. of electors taking option of None of the Above (NOTA) is higher," the EC said.
EC also said that in case of only one valid nomination for a single seat, the Returning Officer has to declare the sole contestant duly elected, as per provisions of Section 53(2) of the Representation of People Act, 1951.
"In the case of elections to Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies, where there is only one contesting candidate in the fray, the Returning Officer has to, in accordance with the provisions of the said Section 53(2), declare the sole contesting candidate as elected," an EC release said today.
EC clarified that the NOTA option, which is an expression of a decision not to vote for the contesting candidates, is not relevant in such cases.
Consequent to the Supreme Court ruling allowing voters to exercise the NOTA option, EC will provide the same for voters at the upcoming Assembly polls and in all future elections, including the General Elections next year.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had ordered last month that Indians would now have a new choice when they go for casting their votes in the upcoming elections, none of the above (NOTA) option.
The NOTA option provides the voters with a unique right to disapprove all candidates on the ballot. As per news reports, this option has been introduced keeping in mind that it could put pressure on parties to field better-qualified politicians.