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Swaraj India's NOTA Appeal Restricted Only to Delhi: Yogendra Yadav

File photo of Yogendra Yadav

File photo of Yogendra Yadav

Yadav was earlier associated with the Aam Aadmi Party, but was expelled along with activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan in April 2015 over differences with party convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

New Delhi: Stung by criticism for advocating the use of None of the Above (NOTA) option in the Lok Sabha polls, Swaraj India president Yogendra Yadav Saturday clarified that his outfit's appeal was restricted to Delhi voters only.

Swaraj India Vice President Anupam said his party is advocating the use of NOTA as all three major political parties in Delhi - the AAP, the Congress and the BJP -- have "failed" to deliver on their promises.

He said the BJP is the "only party scared of NOTA".

Early this month, Yadav's Swaraj India said it advocated the use of NOTA in the national capital. It was, however, perceived to be a nationwide appeal which attracted criticism, Anupam said.

In a statement, Yadav said, "The stand of Swaraj India's Delhi Unit concerning the use of NOTA in the coming Lok Sabha elections has led to many questions and criticism, including from our well-wishers. Swaraj India values and welcomes this feedback. We are sorry that some miscommunication from our end has caused avoidable confusion."

"The position announced by Delhi unit was limited to the National Capital Territory," he said.

Yadav was earlier associated with the Aam Aadmi Party, but was expelled along with activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan in April 2015 over differences with party convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Outside the national capital, Swaraj India has supported about 50 candidates. For instance, actor Prakash Raj, rebel AAP MP Dharamvir Gandhi, farmer leader Raju Shetty, CPI's Kanhaiya Kumar and new parties like former footballer Baichung Bhutia's Hamro Sikkim Party and Kamal Hassan's Makkal Needhi Maiam have its support.

Swaraj India leaders have campaigned all over the country for these candidates, Yadav said.

He said Swaraj India, Delhi Unit is organising a series of meetings and door-to-door campaign asking "significant and hard questions" concerning law and order, corruption, environment, sanitation, transport, liquor, regularisation of colonies, sealing and the status of Delhi.

"If no party or candidate offers satisfactory answers to these questions, we may still exercise the democratic right of NOTA," he said.
first published:April 27, 2019, 21:23 IST