For the first time in history of Rajya Sabha, ‘None of the above’ (NOTA) option will be available on ballots at the Rajya Sabha election in Gujarat state which will be held on August 8, 2017.
Rajya Sabha or State Legislative elections will soon be conducted in Gujarat and political parties are fired up to whip their best and win the elections. While BJP has put out its best bid by nominating BJP President Amit Shah against Congress leader Ahmed Patel, Congress party has moved 40 MLAs to Bengaluru at a ‘safer’ place to ensure their votes remain unchanged. Amidst the race for Rajya Sabha throne, the Election Commission just made a new announcement that the NOTA option will be made available in the elections which will be conducted on August 8.
There has never been NOTA option in Rajya Sabha election ever before and this decision is likely to add fuel to the political fire, but it will make the election results a lot more interesting. Because the BJP has enough votes for Amit Shah and Smriti Irani, but not necessarily for its third candidate – former Congress chief Balwantsinh Rajput who will compete against Congress candidate Ahmed Patel, the political advisor of party president Sonia Gandhi. While both parties are struggling to keep their flocks together for safe margins, the introduction of NOTA might change the entire game.
A Rajya Sabha election will be held in Gujarat after 20 years as in past two decades, candidates were elected unopposed and there was no need of elections; so this will be first Rajya Sabha election experience of most of the 182 MLAs which makes it a lot more interesting. Adding to the allure, they will have the NOTA option now which means if any MLA selects NOTA as their first preference on the ballot, the entire ballot will be counted as ‘no vote to any candidate’ regardless of their vote to any candidate as second or third choice. And if the candidate makes first choice to some candidate while NOTA is a second or third preference, the vote will go to the first choice candidate. Let’s wait for 8th August to see what happens at Gujarat’s State Legislation election 2017.