SRINAGAR Almost 50 per cent of the candidates in the just concluded election to parliamentary got less that the None Of The Above (NOTA) option in Jammu and Kashmir, according to ECI data.
The NOTA option was first used in the Assembly elections in five States in 2013 and thereafter extended to whole of India. Since then its provided in Assembly as well as Parliamentary elections.
79 candidates contested elections from six Lok Sabha seats Jammu-Poonch, Kathua-Doda-Udhampur, Srinagar, Baramulla, Anantnag and Ladakh. A total of 21724 people declined to show faith in the contesting candidates and opted for NOTA instead.
In Baramulla, the NOTA received maximum votes 8113 followed by Udhampur (7568) and least votes in Ladakh Parliamentary Constituency (922). Out of total 79 contestants, 45 candidates (more than 50%) secured far less votes than the NOTA.
The NOTA option was overwhelmingly used in Baramulla Parliamentary constituency where 8113 people pressed this button on Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) by rejecting nine contestants. Four candidatesone each of Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party and Bharatiya Janata Party and two independents secured far less votes than the NOTA. JKNPP candidate bagged 4323 votes while as only 6081 people supported BJPs Mohd Maqbool War.
As far as Anantnag Parliamentary constituency is concerned, 937 people exercised NOTA option by rejecting the candidates who were in the fray. Out of 18 contestants, 12 failed to receive votes equivalent to that of NOTA. They included Nisar Ahmad Wani of JKNPP (589 votes), Surinder Singh of Pragatishil Samajwadi Party (217), Sanjay Kumar Dhar of Manavadhikar National Party (677 votes).
For Srinagar Parliamentary constituency, a total of 1566 people opted for NOTA and out of total 12 contestants seven bagged votes less than NOTA. They are Abdul Rashid Ganaie of Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (791 votes), Showkat Hussain Khan of Janata Dal United (1250), Abdul Khaliq Bhat of Shiv Sena (578), Nazir Ahmed Lone of Rashtriya Jankranti Party (506), Nazir Ahmed Sofi of Manavadhikar National Party (1507) and two Independents.
A total of 2618 voters refused to show faith in any of the 24 contestants in Jammu-Poonch Parliamentary constituency. However, 15 candidates secured votes less than the NOTA option. They are Sushil Kumar of Hindustan Nirman Dal (1281 votes), Syed Aqib Hussain of Independent Peoples Party (1723), Gursagar Singh of Navrang Congress Party (1103), Mohd Younis of J&K Pir Panjal Awami Party (1612) and Manish Sahni of Shiv Sena (1192).
Among the independent candidates who failed to get more votes than NOTA are Rajiv Chuni (refugee leader), Tarsem Lal Khullar and Satish Poonchi.
A total of 7568 voters preferred to cast vote in favour of NOTA in Udhampur-Doda Parliamentary constituency. There were 12 candidates in the fray and seven of them have been outperformed by NOTA. Those who bagged votes less than NOTA are Mohd Ayub of Navrang Congress Party (1673), Meenakshi of Shiv Sena (1660) and five Independents.
In Ladakh Parliamentary constituency, 922 people pressed NOTA button on EVMs but none of the contesting candidates received votes less than None of the Above.