The None Of The Above (NOTA) option in EVMs played spoilsport for both the BJP and the Congress equally as both the parties lost 15 seats each and the victory margins were less than the number of votes in favour of NOTA.
This is because as many as 5.51 lakh voters exercised the NOTA option. No registered party, except the Congress and BJP, has got more votes than NOTA which got 1.83% votes.

An analysis of the voting pattern undertaken by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) reveals that on as many as 114 seats, NOTA's vote share had secured third position. NOTA outnumbered all parties except the BJP and the Congress on these many seats with the parties like Bharatiya Tribal Party and Bahujan Samajwadi Party getting only 0.7% vote share each.

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) got 0.6% votes and the vote share of a few other parties remained below 0.5%. Besides the two principal political parties, 791 independent candidates put together were able to secure more votes than NOTA. Their vote share is 4.3%.

In all, there are 30 seats where the victory margin registered is less than the votes cast for NOTA option. This reflects how fierce the contest was in these assembly elections between the two parties.

While the Congress has lost 15 seats to BJP candidates on these seats, BJP has lost 13 seats to the Congress. There were two independent candidates at Lunawada and Morva-Hadaf where the BJP emerged as runner-up and lost with small margins.

Votes polled in favour of NOTA may have cut into the vote share of any of the two parties. But if it is assumed that the votes had been polled in favour of the BJP, its tally would have been 114 seats in place of 99 - just one less than what it could achieve in 2012.

On the other hand, if it is assumed that NOTA votes had swung in favour of the Congress, the party would have easily got a simple majority and formed the government.

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