The Congress on Tuesday said the Election Commission (EC) cannot introduce the option of None Of The Above (NOTA) in the Rajya Sabha elections, without Constitutional amendment as it is in violation of Article 84 of the Constitution of India.
Talking to the media here after meeting the EC regarding the elections to the Council of States, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said, "The option of NOTA being put on the ballot paper which is in violation of Article 84 of the Constitution of India, also the representation of the people act in the conduct of election rule. The election shall be to a proportionate system and a single transferable vote is a proportionate system of election where the preference is given and the vote is single but transferable."
Sharma asserted that at the same time the discipline of the party is essential to maintain the purity of election.
"Even the fact that they were elected on the party nominations and at the same time the discipline of the party is essential to maintain the purity of election. So there is no room when it comes to giving any other option for the MLAs. So the NOTA here under the Constitution, under the law is just not available. It is only for the general elections of the Parliament of the Assembly." he added.
Resonating similar views, Congress leader Manish Tewari informed "We have requested EC to remove NOTA in the Rajya Sabha elections (indirect election). If in case the EC needs time for this, then they need to clarify on the issue."
The NOTA option will be available for the first time in upcoming Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat.
The MLAs, who would cast vote in the August 8 Rajya Sabha election in Gujarat, will have the option of NOTA.
The Congress will also issue a whip to all MLAs, including Shankersinh Vaghela, who resigned last month to ensure that Ahmed Patel is voted back into the Rajya Sabha.
Rajya Sabha elections do not take place by secret ballot as the voter has to show the marked ballot to the party's polling agent before putting it in the ballot box.