MP Assembly Election: Sapaks Samaj and the NOTA factor
Bhopal: In the just concluded General election to the Madhya Pradesh Assembly, the fate of dozens of winning candidates was decided by a difference of only a few hundred votes.
What is significant and should be noted is that when there was no wave and each vote was important, close to 5.5 lakh votes went for NOTA (None of the above) in Madhya Pradesh. To be precise, 5,42,295 of the total 3,81,38,186 votes polled in Madhya Pradesh went to NOTA.
The NOTA effect, which proved disastrous for the Bharatiya Janata Party, left its impact across a large number of constituencies due to the vigorous campaign that had been launched ahead of polling in favour of NOTA and against the SAPAKS Party that was registered by the Election Commission after notification for filing of nominations had already been issued and the party in question was leaving no stone unturned to encash the popularity and mass following of the anti-reservation SAPAKS Movement spearheaded by SAPAKS Samaj, a people’s organiation, founded and registered by senior journalist Lalit Shastri in November 2016. SAPAKS had taken the lead in demanding reservation on economic basis and not on caste lines. Especially ahead of polling for the Madhya Pradesh Assembly election, Shastri had urged voters to go for NOTA.
The photo above, a screenshot of a facebook post by Mr. Shravan Gaurav, says it all.
(The petition by Lalit Shastri was dismissed later by the High Curt on technical grounds – for more on it visit https://newsroom24x7.com/2018/11/23/high-court-dismisses-petition-challenging-the-ec-decision-to-register-a-political-party-by-the-name-of-sapaks-party/)