The importance of None Of The Above (NOTA) was demonstrated in the 2014 General elections in the Nabarangpur parliamentary constituency of south Odisha.
In 2014,Member of Parliament from Nabarangpur constituency lost the election by a narrow margin of 2,042 votes,while 44,408 votes were cast in favour of NOTA in this constituency.
None Of The Above (NOTA) is a ballot option designed to allow the voter to indicate disapproval of all of the candidates in a voting system.
It was introduced in India following the 2013 Supreme Court directive in the People’s Union for Civil Liberties vs Union of India judgment.
The Supreme Court had justified the inclusion of NOTA by saying that it would force political parties to project clean candidates in an election. The court said that since all citizens have the right to vote,one must also have the right to reject all candidates as part of their fundamental right to speech and expression in the Constitution.
However,NOTA in India does not provide for a ‘right to reject’.The candidate with the maximum votes wins the election irrespective of the number of NOTA votes polled.