Congress Approaches Apex Court On NOTA In RS Elections, Court To Hear Tomorrow

As the Congress became weaker with MLAs resignations and the IT raids on its party minister in Karnataka, the party approached the top court not to allow NOTA in elections, in a bid to save its seat.

New Delhi: While the BJP is cornering the Congress in every possible way, the Congress is trying to beat the BJP in its own game. The Gujarat Congress approached Supreme Court on Wednesday challenging the decision to use of None of the Above (NOTA) option in the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls in the state.

The Supreme Court too agreed to hear the plea. The apex court agreed to hear the issue as the senior counsel mentioned the matter before it and sought an urgent hearing.

Kapil Sibal, a senior Congress leader and a lawyer, argued that there is no statutory provision with regard to NOTA in the Constitution.\

According to government officials, after the apex court made it mandatory to have NOTA option in EVMs, directions to use NOTA in Rajya Sabha elections were enforced in January 2014.

Meanwhile, Congress approached the Election Commission against the use of NOTA option in the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls, claiming it violates Constitution and electoral laws. But, the EC clarified that it was not a new direction.

The Rajya Sabha election in Gujarat has become contentious with BJP encouraging resignations in the opposition camps and putting senior leader Ahmed Patel, who is contesting for Rajya Sabha, in an irksome position.

The elections will take place on August 8

In the polls for the upper house, it is mandatory for the MLAs to show their ballot paper to an authorized party agent before putting it in the ballot box. If an MLA uses NOTA option or votes for someone else, he cannot be disqualified as a legislator.

However, the party is free to take disciplinary action including expulsion, according to EC rules.  However, they can continue as MLA and their votes cannot be invalidated for defying party orders.

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