In shocking news about the Maharashtra Assembly 2019 election, the constituency of Latur (Rural) counted 27,500 votes for NOTA (None of the Above) option. NOTA polled the second-highest number of votes — accounting for 13.78 per cent of the total votes counted in the seat.
In the same constituency, Congress candidate Dheeraj Deshmukh, son of former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh managed to earn a whopping 1,35,006 votes (67%).
Shiv Sena’s Sachin Deshmukh and VBA’s Baliram Done received 13,524 and 12,966 votes, respectively.
On asking about the large NOTA turnout, Sachin from Shiv Sena expressed shock and concern. An aide said the party might approach EC for the same.
However, the district election authorities had nothing to be surprised about. According to an official, the shift of candidates right before the election had spurred controversy in the constituency. Initially, a BJP candidate was supposed to receive the ticket which was later passed on to Sachin, a Shiv Sena candidate. The move was to cater to the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance.
The BJP workers in the area had also held protests and distributed pamphlets that asked voters to choose NOTA.