New Delhi, Aug 2 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday urged the Election Commission (EC) to withdraw the provision of NOTA from the ballot papers for the August 8 election to the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat.
A BJP delegation led by party General Secretary Bhupendra Yadav and Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi submitted a memorandum to the Election Commission in this regard.
“The use of None of The Above (NOTA) option during the Rajya Sabha election has become an issue of debate among the political parties and therefore a proper consensus should be made before the use of NOTA in the Rajya Sabha election,” the memorandum said.
It said that since the provision of secret ballot was not there in this election, the purpose of NOTA was not of much use in it.
Besides, citing a Supreme Court judgment, the memorandum said: “It is also clear that there is no specific direction by Supreme Court for use of NOTA for elections to the Rajya Sabha.”
Apparently, the Election Commission had acted beyond the direction passed by the apex court by issuing the letter dated January 24, 2014, and further direction for use of NOTA in the August 8 election to Rajya Sabha, the BJP memorandum said.
“Therefore, the party demands that the letter dated January 24, 2014, as well as the direction for using NOTA option in the election for Rajya Sabha in the state of Gujarat be withdrawn with immediate effect,” the memorandum read.
The BJP demand came a day after the Congress on Tuesday created ruckus in Parliament over the use of NOTA provision in the Rajya Sabha election in Gujarat.
On Tuesday, a Congress delegation met the poll panel, demanding that the provision of NOTA should not be made in the ballot papers for the August 8 election, as it would render the system of proportional representation “nugatory and otiose”.
Election Commission officials had maintained that the panel had made it clear in its communications following a Supreme Court judgment of 2013 that the NOTA option would be applicable in the Rajya Sabha elections.
The poll panel, in its letter of November 2015 to all chief electoral officers of states, had given revised instructions about the manner of marking NOTA option in elections to the Rajya Sabha and state legislative councils.