KOCHI: As the Thrikkakara bypoll has become an intense fight between the three fronts — UDF, LDF and NDA — much is being discussed about AAP-Twenty20 supporters either opting for NOTA (none of the above) or abstaining from voting. Experts say each vote is crucial for the contesting fronts as there is a probability that the winning margin could be as low as 1,000 votes.
Political analyst J Prabhash said NOTA could play a crucial role in deciding the winner if it’s a neck-and-neck race. “In Thrikkakara, people who were looking forward to casting their votes for Twenty20-AAP alliance might either opt for NOTA or stay away from voting,” he added.
D Dhanuraj, chairman of Kochi-based Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR), said voters might stay away from voting rather than taking the pain to go to a polling booth and press the NOTA button. “Absence of the AAP-Twenty20 alliance in the fray will not result in more NOTA votes. Those who don’t prefer LDF or UDF will just stay away from the booths,” he added.
The NOTA share has been minimal in the elections held in 2016 and 2021 at Thrikakkara. In 2016, 1, 275 (0.94%) voters had opted for NOTA while just 695 NOTA votes were polled in 2021.“More worrying is the fall in voting percentage. In the 2021 assembly polls, polling was just 69.28% while it was 74.47% in 2016 elections,” said a political leader. As per the final voters’ list, there are 1,96,805 voters in the Thrikkakara constituency — 95,274 male and 1,01,530 female voters. There is also one transgender voter.
CPPR Chairman Dr D Dhanuraj comments in a article published in the The New Indian Express on 20 May 2022, Click Here to Read