The election body said NOTA was introduced in direct and indirect elections after the top court's ruling in 2013 that had been implemented soon after. The first Rajya Sabha election where state legislators were given the NOTA option was in 2014 and 25 elections to the upper house have been held with NOTA.
The Congress objection to NOTA had come in context of its prestige battle in Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat last month. Congress president Sonia Gandhi's aide Ahmed Patel, 67, was seeking another term from the state and the BJP was determined to make the Congress to sweat for this one seat.
Mr Patel did scrape through with 44 votes eventually after two Congress rebel votes were cancelled because they had showed their ballot papers to a BJP leader. But the Congress strategist too later conceded he had never seen "such a tense and bitter election battle".
The top court had then refused to put on hold the right of lawmakers to reject all candidates but asked the Election Commission to respond to the points made the Congress.
In Rajya Sabha polls, legislators have to show their ballot paper to an authorised party agent before putting it in ballot box. "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 insisted.
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