Gujarat MLAs have been granted the None of the Above option during the Rajya Sabha election scheduled for August 8, PTI reported. The Opposition on Tuesday protested in the Upper House over the provision saying it was against the Constitution.
“It vitiates the election...Constitution has not been amended,” Congress leader Anand Sharma said. “Representation of People Act has not been amended.”
Sharma said the elections to the president and vice president posts should also have the Nota option.
The Election Commission has said that the Nota provision was granted as per a previous Supreme Court order, DNA reported. “The judgement came several years before this government came to power,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has fielded party chief Amit Shah, Union minister Smriti Irani and Balwantsinh Rajput for the three Rajya Sabha seats from Gujarat. Congress’ Ahmed Patel is contesting for a fifth term.
Rajya Sabha Chairperson and Vice President Hamid Ansari asked the Opposition leaders to take up the issue with the Election Commission and said the matter was not related to the Question Hour of the Upper House. However, the Congress leaders continued to debate the topic.
Congress to issue whip for its MLAs
The Congress said it will issue a whip to all its MLAs to vote for their Patel in the Rajya Sabha elections. “If an MLA marks Nota, he will be disqualified,” Gujarat Congress President Arjun Modhwadia told India Today.
Meanwhile, Patel questioned the poll panel’s decision to introduce Nota only after the Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections were scheduled. “First Rajya Sabha election was postponed, second Nota was permitted post notification. Reasons best known to the Election Commission,” Patel said on Twitter.