NOTA created a new record in Indore with 2.19 lakh votes, defeated 13 candidates

The Uncut

Indore. In Indore, Madhya Pradesh, NOTA broke the previous record of Gopalganj in Bihar and secured 2,18,674 votes and set a new national record by defeating 13 out of 14 candidates. Indore is the largest Lok Sabha constituency in the state in terms of the number of voters, where the main electoral contest has been between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress, but this time the political equations were completely different.

Congress’s declared candidate Akshay Kanti Bam gave a big blow to the party by withdrawing his nomination on 29 April, the last date for withdrawal of nomination, and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) immediately after that. As a result, Congress was out of the electoral race for the first time in the 72-year history of this seat. After this, Congress appealed to the local voters to teach BJP a lesson by pressing the ‘NOTA’ button on the EVM.

In the polling held on May 13 in Indore, out of a total of 25.27 lakh voters, 61.75 percent people cast their votes and out of these 13,43,294 votes were found valid. That is, 16.28 percent of the total valid votes went to NOTA. In Indore, outgoing MP and BJP candidate Shankar Lalwani defeated his nearest rival Bahujan Samaj Party candidate Sanjay Solanki by a record margin of 11,75,092 votes.

Indore Lok Sabha constituency has been under the control of BJP for the last 35 years. This time, a total of 14 candidates tried their luck in Indore, out of which 13 candidates lost their deposits. NOTA defeated all these 13 candidates and stood second after Lalwani in terms of getting votes.

These 13 defeated candidates got a total of 1,16,543 votes and this total figure is also less than the votes received by NOTA. During the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Indore, Lalwani defeated his nearest rival Congress candidate Pankaj Sanghvi by 5.48 lakh votes and 5,045 voters opted for NOTA. In the last election, the Congress candidate got 5,20,815 votes which was 32 percent of the total valid votes.

Lalwani told PTI-Bhasha, “Congress-backed NOTA could not get even half the votes that Congress candidate (Sanghvi) got in the last Lok Sabha elections. This time, it shows that the people of Indore have rejected Congress.” On the contrary, senior Congress leader Shobha Ojha said, “By creating a national record for NOTA, the voters of Indore have slapped all those political parties like BJP who consider themselves above democracy and the Constitution.” In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, NOTA got the highest number of votes in the country in Gopalganj seat of Bihar. Then 51,660 voters of this area had opted for NOTA and about five percent of the total votes went to NOTA.

Earlier, during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, NOTA got 46,559 votes in Nilgiris of Tamil Nadu and NOTA secured nearly five percent of the total votes cast. After the Supreme Court’s decision, the NOTA button was included in the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) in September 2013. This voting option gives voters the right to reject all candidates in a constituency.

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