For the first time in elections in India, voters who cast ballots in recent assembly polls had the option to reject all candidates and vote for “none of the above.” The choice to do so appears to have been less popular than anticipated. Across Delhi, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, only 1.67 million voters out of a combined electorate of 115 million, chose to assert their right to register contempt for all candidates, according to figures released Sunday by the Election Commission of India. Vote counting in Mizoram where elections were also held in November began Monday in the predominantly Christian state because of petitions by church officials who said that Sunday should be reserved for religious observance. The Congress party retained power in the tiny northeastern state, where results, released by the Election Commission of India Monday, showed that the “none of the above” option was used by less than 1% (around 3,800) of voters.
Fewer than 1% of voters (around 50,000) selected the new ballot option in Delhi, where no clear winner emerged. The Bharatiya Janata Party captured 31 seats and 28 seats went to the newly-formed Aam Aadmi Party, which tapped into a wave of anti-corruption sentiment in the Indian capital.
Political analysts said the number choosing to vote for “none of the above” was low in Delhi because there the AAP acted as a protest vote against the country’s two main parties.
The number rejecting all candidates was below 2% in both Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
In Madhya Pradesh, where the BJP won comfortably against the ruling Congress party, 643,000 voted “none of the above.”
Full Article: ‘None of the Above’ Polls Poorly – India Real Time – WSJ.