87,719 voters opt for NOTA in BMC polls

by Web Desk | Updated: 2017-02-25

On an average, 386 voters per ward opted to press the ‘none of the above’ (NOTA) button in the recently held BMC elections.
As per the data received, in 186 out of the total 227 wards, 87,719 voters preferred ‘NOTA’ as the best option.
The NOTA is a ballot option that voter can chose if they feel no candidate is capable enough to represent their ward in BMC. The state election commission set NOTA as an option in the electronic voting machine for the first time in the civic polls this year following the Supreme Court order.
Ward number 91, Bandra (E) has registered the highest NOTA votes in the city where 1,135 people voted for NOTA. The seat was won by Sagun Naik of Shiv Sena. Interestingly, 964 NOTA votes were registered in ward number 198 (South Central Mumbai) where current Mayor Snehal Ambekar (Shiv Sena) was contesting and won the seat. 869 votes for NOTA was registered in ward number 15 in western suburb Borivli, where Pravin Shah won with the highest margin of over 19,556 votes.
The least number of NOTA, only 47, has been registered in ward number 134 in Mankhurd where Samajwadi Party candidate Shahera Khan won and 73 NOTA voted in each ward number 49 (Malad) and 135 (Mankhurd), both seats won by Sena.
‘Free A Billion’, a group of citizen, had started campaign to aware voters in Mumbai since last six months. Volunteers of the citizen group visited few places in the city such as housing societies, colleges and slum pockets, where voting percentage are comparatively less.
“We wanted to make people aware about civic issues they are facing. So that they vote for NOTA as a mark of protest against BMC’s failure,” it said.
Suchita Deshpande, group manager of ‘Free A Billion’, said, “We are happy that people have used NOTA and it would help to make a systematic change in the BMC functioning.”