'NOTA' runner-up in two Maharashtra Assembly seats

'NOTA' is runners-up in two Maharashtra Assembly seats

Latur/Pune: The 'NOTA' option secured second position in two Assembly seats in Maharashtra, reflecting disenchantment with candidates in the fray in these constituencies.

One of them was the Latur Rural Assembly segment in central Maharashtra, from where late Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh's son Dhiraj posted a handsome victory in his maiden poll outing.

According to the results announced on late Thursday evening, Dhiraj Deshmukh, the Congress candidate, secured 1,35,006 votes (67.64 per cent).

The 'None of the Above' (NOTA) clinched 27,500 votes (13.78 per cent) to secure second position, relegating other candidates in fray from the seat to inferior positions.

Shiv Sena candidate Sachin Deshmukh, Dhiraj Deshmukh's main rival, stood third, garnering 13,459 votes (6.78 per cent).

Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi's Manchakrao Done received 12,966 votes to clinch fourth slot (6.5 per cent).

Latur Rural was given to the Shiv Sena by the BJP in exchange for Ausa during seat-sharing negotiations between the saffron allies.

There were a total of 15 candidates in the Latur Rural constituency and 16th option was NOTA.

As many as 27,449 votes were registered for NOTA on EVMs, whereas 51 were postal votes for the option.

The total number of valid votes on EVMs in the seat stood at 1,99,599, while the postal ballot count was 563.

The NOTA also ended up as the runner-up in the Palus Kadegaon assembly seat in Sangli district.

In this seat in western Maharashtra, Vishwajeet Kadam of the Congress bagged 1,71,497 votes to emerge the winner, while at No. 2 was NOTA, which received 20,631 votes.

In the third place was Sanjay Vibhute of the Shiv Sena who got 8,976 votes.

The NOTA option was first introduced in 2014 following an apex court verdict a year earlier.

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