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NOTA hurdle for Ahmed Patel?

Oppn on Tuesday protested in Upper House after EC's notification to include Nota in RS elections

Business Standard  |  New Delhi 

Opposition parties on Tuesday protested in the Rajya Sabha an Election Commission notification that provides for the “None of the Above” (NOTA) option for legislators of state Assemblies in the vote for elections to the Upper House. Protests by members, led by those of the Congress, forced adjournments on the issue. The issue has come into the spotlight at a time when there is a high-profile electoral battle for three Rajya Sabha seats from Gujarat. In the fray are Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah, Union minister Smriti Irani and senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel. The Congress fears the NOTA option might be “misused” in the elections to ensure Patel’s defeat, with the BJP influencing Congress legislators to exercise the option. Patel is the political advisor to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and his defeat would be perceived as her defeat. Election Commission sources pointed out that the NOTA option in the Rajya Sabha polls came into force in 2014, when the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance was in power for its second term.

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