New Delhi: In a possible first, ‘None of The Above’ (NOTA) finished in second place in Maharashtra's Latur seat, behind Congress's Dhiraj Vilasrao Deshmukh, the younger son of former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, winning the seat for the first time with a massive 75.10% of the total vote share.
NOTA on Thursday polled 13.06% of the votes, effectively defeating the Shiv Sena (4.7%) and the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (4.9%).
Done Manchakrao Baliram of the VBA finished third with 4.94% of the votes and 'Sachin' Ravi Ramraje Deshmukh of the Sena got 4.73%. To put the NOTA votes in context, with 19,133 total votes polled, this was more than the VBA, SS, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) combined in the seat.
The seat, in the Marathwada region and Latur district of Maharashtra, is part of the Latur Lok Sabha constituency. The rural seat has an estimated Scheduled Caste (SC) population of 18.8% and a Scheduled Tribe (ST) population of 1.71%. The estimated literacy level of the district where this constituency falls is 77.26%. In the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year, there were a total of 3,22,061 eligible electors, of which 1,69,724 were male, 1,52,336 female, and one voter of the third gender. A total of 356 service voters had also registered.
This was the first time that Dhiraj Vilasrao Deshmukh contested the state elections from the seat – the 36-year old previously won the Maharashtra Zilla Parishad elections in 2017 from Ekurga from Latur.