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NOTA Secures More Votes than Bharatiya Tribal Party Candidates on Three Reserved Seats in Gujarat

File photo of BTP chief Chhotubhai Vasava

File photo of BTP chief Chhotubhai Vasava

Floated by Gujarat based tribal leader Chhotu Vasava, BTP's two candidates had won in Rajasthan Assembly seats last year

As the final data of parliamentary polls arrived, one notable observation was that the None of the Above (NOTA) option in EVM, made its presence felt again particularly on Scheduled Tribe reserved seats in Gujarat where NOTA secured more votes than Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) candidates.

Since BJP won with a massive victory margin on all the 26 seats in Gujarat, NOTA did not play any spoilsport in these polls but tribal dominated seats continue to get higher NOTA votes.

Political observers were keenly watching how Bharatiya Tribal Party candidates perform in polls as it has emerged as the voice of tribals in Gujarat and nearby states.

Tribal leader Chhotu Vasava, formed his own Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) two-years ago. Chhotu Vasava is BTP MLA from Jhagadia while his son Mahesh Vasava is BTP MLA from Dediapada in Narmada District.

The BTP had won two Assembly seats in Rajasthan elections held last year. The new tribal party had fielded 11 candidates in Rajasthan, four in Madhya Pradesh and five in Chhattisgarh. While the party did not win any seat in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, it managed to win two, Chorasi and Sagwara — both bordering north Gujarat and ST reserved seats of Rajasthan.

In 2019 parliamentary polls, BTP fielded its candidates from Valsad, Bardoli, Chhota Udepur and Bharuch seats. Valsad, Chhota Udepur and Bardoli seats are reserved for Scheduled Tribals (ST).

According to Election Commission of India (ECI)’s data, NOTA secured more votes than BTP candidates in Valsad, Chota Udepur and Bardoli seats.

On Valsad seat, BTP candidate Pankaj Patel got 9536 votes whereas NOTA secured 10307 votes. In Chhota Udepur, BTP’s Rajesh Vasava got 10,632 votes while NOTA secured 32,868 votes.

Similarly, in Bardoli Parliamentary seat, BTP candidate Uttam Vasava got 11,781 votes whereas NOTA secured 22,914 votes.

In Dahod, another Scheduled Tribe reserved seat, wher BTP did not contest, NOTA secured third position with 31,936 votes.

BTP chief Chotu Vasava contested from Bharuch Lok Sabha seat (tribal dominated but non-reserved seat) got 144083 votes and NOTA secured 6321votes and got fifth position.

As per the ECI data of vote share, NOTA secured 4,00,941 votes (1.4 %) in 2019 polls. BJP has secured highest vote shares in Gujarat as it secured 1,80, 91,482 votes (62.2 % vote share). Congress received 32.1 percent vote share.

In 2014 General Election, BJP had won all 26 Lok Sabha seats and got 60.11 percent vote shares while Congress had received 33.45 percent votes.

In 2009 General Elections BJP won 15 Lok Sabha seats and received 46.52 percent vote share. It must be noted here, Gujarat recorded highest ever 64.11% voting in this pols and broke the record of 63.77% voting registered 52 years ago in 1967.