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Candidate with highest votes wins, even if majority goes for NOTA option: Election Commission

PTI |

New Delhi: Election Commission on Monday said that the candidate securing the highest number of votes would be declared elected even if the number of electors going for the None of the Above (NOTA) option surpassed the votes polled by the electoral contestants.

EC also said that if the number of contestants was equal to the number of seats to be filled, the Returning Officer has to declare all of them duly elected, as per provisions of Section 53(2) of the Representation of People Act, 1951.

"In the case of elections to Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies, where there is only one contesting candidate in the fray, the Returning Officer has to, in accordance with the provisions of the said Section 53(2), declare the sole contesting candidate as elected," an EC release said.

EC clarified that the NOTA option, which is an expression of a decision not to vote for the contesting candidates, is not relevant in such cases.

Consequent to the Supreme Court ruling allowing voters to exercise the NOTA option, EC will provide the same for voters at the upcoming Assembly polls and in all future elections, including the general elections next year.

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