Sambalpur: A few voters expressed resentment over various issues prevailing in their areas and refused to vote for any political party. Instead, they wrote ‘NOTA’ on ballot papers, a photo of which has been making rounds on social media Sunday.
A source said that a voter from Zilla Parishad zone-2 under Naktideul block in Sambalpur has written ‘No vote, for no teacher in primary school’ on a ballot paper. The voter concerned has preferred not to cast his vote for any of the candidates as a local primary school allegedly has no teachers.
Similarly, another voter from Zilla Parishad zone-1 under Maneswar block has written ‘None of the above’ (NOTA) on four separate ballot papers containing names of candidates to the post of sarpanch, samiti member, parishad member and ward member posts. Interestingly, all the four ballot papers have no option for NOTA, the source added.
It is said that the viral photo was captured in mobile phone before the ballot paper was droped in a designated box at polling booth.
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Later, the photo was shared on social media by two local farmers namely Debendra Pradhan and Sushant Pradhan. Giving their reactions, the duo said, “Irrespective of political parties, every government is indulging in anti-farmer activities. However, the number of NOTA will increase in future, if procurement issues will not be sorted out.”
Meanwhile, Sambalpur district Collector Dibya Jyoti Parida has taken the matter seriously.
“We are verifying the authenticity of the ballot papers. Police have been investigating into the matter. Actions will be taken against the wrongdoer(s) after the facts surface.”
It is pertinent to mention here that the second phase of polling was held in Naktideul block in Sambalpur February 18, 2022. The ruling BJD fielded Tikeswar Meher, BJP candidate Luchana Gadatya and Congress party candidate Sunanda Pradhan have been contesting the three-tier rural elections for Zilla Parishad zone-2 in the district.
Names of candidates in zone-2 are the same as seen in viral photo.