The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to stay the Election Commission of India’s notification introducing NOTA option in the upcoming Rajya Sabha poll in Gujarat.
The Congress had vehemently opposed the move in the wake of the alleged intimidation and poaching of its MLAs by the BJP.
The apex court, however, agreed to examine constitutional validity of EC’s notification to give an option of NOTA in elections.
MLAs who did not want to vote either the BJP or the Congress candidate can exercise NOTA, which stands for None Of The Above, option. Both parties had opposed its introduction, but the decision will hurt the Congress the most as it desperately struggles to secure 46 MLAs’ votes amidst charges of BJP causing division in its party.
It had 57 MLAs, but six have joined the BJP prompting the party to transport its 44 MLAs to Bengaluru, where the party has its government. The central government’s Income Tax department had raided the rooms occupied by the MLAs in Bengaluru on Wednesday.
The Election Commission is currently headed by Achal Kumar Joti, who served as the chief secretary of Gujarat when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the chief minister.