None of the above option (NOTA) in India and Does NOTA have any value? Explained

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None of the above option (NOTA) is an voting option for the citizen for not voting for any candidate who is contesting elections. But in context to Indian elections None of the above option (NOTA) does not hold any electoral value as if citizen cast maximum votes for NOTA then also the candidate who has got maximum votes will win. So NOTA can be considered as a method for giving negative feedback.

When was NOTA introduced?
For the first time None of the above option (NOTA) was introduced in 2013 Assembly elections of Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Madhya Pradesh.

Symbol of NOTA

National institute of Design (NID) Ahmedabad designed the symbol of None of the above option (NOTA) in 2015. Previously there were demands to use symbol of donkey for None of the above option (NOTA).

When NOTA changed the outcome of elections
In recent times NOTA has gained popularity in Indian elections. NOTA secured more votes than victory margin in assembly elections of Gujarat in 2017, Karnataka in 2018, Madhya Pradesh in 2018 and Rajasthan in 2018. In times NOTA have gaine more votes than political parties.

  1. In 118 constituencies of Gujarat NOTA was having third largest vote share after BJP and Congress.
  2. In Karnataka assembly elections 2018 vote share of NOTA was more than political parties like CPI(M) and BSP.
  3. In Madhya Pradesh assembly elections 2018 the total vote share difference between BJP and Congress was 0.1% while NOTA secured 1.4% vote share.
  4. In Madhya Pradesh assembly elections 2018 in South Gwalior constituency BJP candidate Narayan Singh Kushwah lost to congress candidate by 121 votes. Here NOTA secured 1550 votes. So here NOTA proved to be game changer.
  5. The use of NOTA in Madhya Pradesh elections was game changing as BJP lost 12 of 22 constituencies where NOTA secured more votes than victory.

Countries which allow NOTA option

  1. India
  2. Bangladesh
  3. Ukraine
  4. Finland
  5. Sweden
  6. Belgium
  7. France
  8. Spain
  9. Greece
  10. Brazil
  11. Chile
  12. Colombia
  13. USA (in few regions)

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