SC allows use of NOTA in Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections

Gujarat Global News Network, New Delhi

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to stay Election Commission’s notification allowing NOTA (None Of The Above) in the upcoming Rajya Sabha election in Gujarat. SC asked the Gujarat Congress why it was so late in raising the question as EC had issued the notification in Jan 2014.

The Congress and the BJP have both opposed NOTA, which allows a voter to reject all candidates, saying it is against the ethos of indirect elections. The apex court however, agreed to examine constitutional validity of Election Commission’s notification to give an option of NOTA in elections. Rajya Sabha poll in Gujarat will be held on August 8.

The Congress had said in the Supreme Court that “there is no constitutional provision for NOTA in the Rajya Sabha polls and no order from the Election Commission”. The Election Commission had refused to review its decision to have NOTA, saying it was not a “new direction” and was introduced in 2014.

The Congress alleged that NOTA, which will be available for the first time in a Rajya Sabha election, is an attempt to influence the result in Gujarat. Senior party leader Ahmed Patel is contesting the elections from Gujarat. While the BJP which has two seats has fielded three candidates and is trying to defeat Patel.

Six MLAs have quit the Congress and joined BJP. In order to prevent more defections, the party flew over 40 legislators to Bengaluru, where they are staying in a luxury resort. Desperately trying to keep its flock together, the party has accused Gujarat’s ruling BJP of trying every trick possible to break the Congress and poach its lawmakers ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls and also the state election later this year.

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