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The Supreme Court has confirmed that the 'None of The Above' or NOTA voting option will be available for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat on August 8 despite oppositions from both Congress and BJP.
The NOTA option allows a voter to reject all the candidates that are running but was opposed by Congress and the BJP, saying that it is 'against the ethos of indirect elections'.
ALSO READ: Nearly 9.5 Lakh Bihar Voters Choose NOTA
Congress had requested the Supreme Court to put the NOTA option on hold for the elections, saying that "there is no constitutional provision for NOTA in the Rajya Sabha polls and no order from the Election Commission".
"The use of NOTA in an indirect election is contrary to the mandate of the Constitution, the Representation of the People Act and election rules," the Congress said.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission had refused to review its decision on NOTA saying that it was not a "new direction" and was introduced in 2014.
The discussion over NOTA has reached new importance in light of the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat as 6 six Gujarat Congress MLAs quit from the party ahead of the elections. Congress then flew its remaining 42 MLAs to a resort in Bengaluru to prevent further defections.
Since the NOTA option has been added to the election if any lawmaker defies the party and chooses to vote for NOTA the lawmaker cannot be disqualified. While the party is free to take disciplinary action against the lawmaker, the vote cannot be canceled and would still be counted.