68% of candidates in J&K polled fewer than NOTA votes

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Srinagar: Sixty-eight per cent of the total 100 candidates in the fray on Jammu and Kashmir’s five Lok Sabha seats polled fewer than None Of The Above (NOTA) votes, according to Election Commission data.

Cumulately, 34,788 voters pressed the NOTA button in the five seats, showing their rejection of the candidates fielded by parties.

The maximum 12,938 NOTA votes were polled in the Udhampur constituency of Jammu region, a seat retained by BJP candidate Jitendra Singh. There were 11 other candidates in the fray from Udhampur, and NOTA polled more votes than nine of them.

In the neighbouring Jammu seat, 4,645 voters pressed the NOTA button, which is more than votes individually garnered by 18 candidates. There were 22 candidates in the fray from the seat which has been retained by the BJP’s Jugal Kishore.

In the Srinagar seat, the number of NOTA votes was 5,998. There were 24 candidates in the fray from the constituency and most of them — 18 — got fewer votes than NOTA. In the Anantnag-Rajouri constituency, 6,223 voters favoured NOTA. There were 20 candidates were in the fray from the seat, and nine of them secured fewer than NOTA votes.

In the Baramulla seat, 4,984 voters used the NOTA option. There were 22 candidates in the fray and 14 of them polled fewer votes. Thus, out of the total 100, 68 candidates have secured fewer votes than NOTA, an analysis of the EC data shows.

Meanwhile, in the Ladakh Union territory, which was part of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir until the Centre divided J&K into two Union territories and abrogated Article 370 in August 2019, NOTA was favoured only by 912 voters.

Ladakh is the sole Parliamentary constituency in the UT. There were only three candidates in the fray and all of them got more votes than NOTA.

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