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Congress moves EC against NOTA option in Rajya Sabha polls

Congress moves EC against NOTA option in Rajya Sabha polls

The BJP has fielded the party president Amit Shah and Union minister Smriti Irani on two Rajya Sabha seats and the former Congress leader Balwantsinh Rajput on the third seat against Patel from Gujarat.

Gujarat Assembly secretary D.M. Patel had said that the NOTA option will be printed on ballot papers to be used in the Rajya Sabha polls.

"It vitiates the election". With six of its 57 MLAs resigning after veteran Kshatriya leader Shankersinh Vaghela quit, the party leadership virtually whisked away its 44 MLAs to Karnataka.

Congress leader Anand Sharma had said in the Rajya Sabha that the decision to provide the NOTA option had been made without amending the Constitution or the law as per the direction of the Election Commission.

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Apprehensive of the possibility of rebel Congress MLAs exercising the NOTA option, the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) in Gujarat has warned of disciplinary action if any party MLA was found violating the whip issued for the August 8 Rajya Sabha election in Gujarat.

But apprehensive of possible cross-voting, the exercise of NOTA and the uncertain outcome of the poll, the Congress high-command has now sought to shield the Gandhi family from the fallout if Patel loses the poll.

However, DM Patel, the Gujarat Assembly Secretary said: "Rajya Sabha polls are taking place after nearly 20 years or more".

They said the poll panel, in its letter of November 2015 to all chief electoral officers of states, had given revised instructions about the manner of marking NOTA option in elections to Rajya Sabha and state legislative councils. In an 8-page petition submitted in the evening, the party claimed the Supreme Court had ordered the "NOTA" provision in its 2013 ruling only for direct elections and not for the indirect RS elections. Second NOTA was permitted post notification. "Why has one Rajya Sabha seat sparked off a virtual political Mahabharata in Gujarat?"

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The poll authorities on Monday announced in Ahmedabad that none of the above (NOTA) option can be used for the Rajya Sabha elections. "For the BJP, there are three preferences, while for the Congress, we have only one, that is Ahmed Patel". He has been a Rajya Sabha MP since 1993 and a three time Lok Sabha MP before that.

Interestingly RS elections are taking place in the State after nearly two decades as during the period candidates for the RS used to be elected unopposed irrespective of party line.

Leader of the House and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said NOTA was introduced after a Supreme Court order in 2014.

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She further added, "I try to take that one day off and even if I am shooting overseas , I make sure to get that one day off. On the work front, she just finished the last schedule of shooting for Judwaa 2 , which is a sequel to 1997 superhit film.


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