SC to hear Congress plea against use of NOTA in RS polls

A few of the 44 Congress MLAs from Gujarat having food at the Eagleton Resort near Bengaluru on Saturday | Express

Brushing off the claims made by the Congress, Jaitley said the raids had to take place in the resort since the Karnataka minister "parked" himself there. However, the election commission has issued no order against Nota.

Speaking to the reporters, Congress MLA Shailesh Parmar had said earlier, "To ensure that BJP is not successful in its mission, 44 of us Congress MLAs are leaving from Gujarat for Bengaluru".

Ending speculation that he would resign as party president if elected to the Rajya Sabha, Shah also denied that the BJP had broken any party in Bihar.

"The use of NOTA in an indirect election is contrary to the mandate of the Constitution, the Representation of the People Act and election rules", the Congress said.

BJP has urged the EC to withdraw its January 24, 2014 direction for "NOTA" use in the Rajya Sabha elections since it has acted beyond the direction given by the apex court.

The BJP also met the Election Commission over the removal of NOTA or "None of the Above" option for voters in the Rajya Sabha elections. The Rajya Sabha witnessed protests by the opposition against the "witch-hunt by the government".

According to IT officials, around Rs 10.5 crore in cash was recovered from various properties of Shivakumar including the Eagleton resort in Bengaluru where Gujarat Congress legislators are staying ahead of Rajya Sabha elections. "Raid on Karnataka minister is not releated to Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat".

The Congress had on July 29 flown its MLAs to the resort located in the Bengaluru Rural Lok Sabha constituency, represented by Shivakumar's younger brother DK Suresh.

The BJP is of the view that since parties issue a whip for Rajya Sabha polls, Nota option goes 'against the nature of the whip'.

Congress leader Anand Sharma said it is now becoming a trend to blatantly misuse powers of the state.

Congress leaders, who were not satisfied by Jaitley's response gathered in the well and shouted slogan against the government, and walked out of the house.

Officials in the Election Commission, who refused to be identified, however, said that the directions to use NOTA in Rajya Sabha elections were enforced in January 2014 after the Supreme Court in 2013 made it mandatory to have the "None Of The Above" option in EVMs. However, his victory is not guaranteed, given that opposition presidential candidate Meira Kumar could garner only 49 of the then 57 Congress MLAs in the state assembly.

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