Bhubaneswar: Election results in Koraput and Sambalpur Lok Sabha constituencies could have been very different. It is a phenomenon seen in a few other seats in the country too and reflects voters’ growing disenchantment with the electoral process and selection of candidates. Here’s how or why:
1. Saptagiri Sankar Ulaka (Cong) won the Koraput seat by a margin of only 3,622 votes. In comparison, the None of The Above (NOTA) option was exercised by 35,561 voters, which is 3.38 per cent of the total votes polled.
2. Similarly, Nitesh Ganga Deb (BJP) won the Sambalpur Lok Sabha seat by 7,319, votes while the NOTA option was exercised by 13,456 voters, which is 1.2 per cent of the total votes registered.
3. According to the Election Commission website, 65 lakh voters exercised NOTA across the country, the highest of 8,17,139 NOTA votes being cast in Bihar and the lowest of 100 NOTA votes in Lakshadweep.
4. In as many as 21 seats, the victory margin was less than the number of votes polled for NOTA. These include four seats in West Bengal, three each in Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, two in Telangana and a seat each in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Karnataka, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.