Mumbai: Maharashtra Election Commission (EC) has taken a stern decision on NOTA. Accordingly, fresh elections will be held if NOTA votes are more than that of candidates.

It looks like the EC has taken note of increasing number of NOTA votes after former chief minister J Patel's son Mahima Patel got less votes than NOTA in Shivamogga Lok Sabha by-election held on November 3 in Karnataka.

Maharashtra is going for panchayat and local body elections on December 9. The decision regarding NOTA votes is implemented with immediate effect. Elections will be held at Ahmed Nagar and Dhule.

The electronic voting machine (EVM) has an option to choose NOTA (none of the above) option, if the voter is not happy with the candidates. The NOTA was added into EVM five years ago based on Supreme Court's direction.

People have the right to choose NOTA while voting. But of these votes are more than that of any candidates, the election will be regarded null and void and fresh polls will have to be held.

This plea was also made to the central Election Commission, but was rejected by the EC. However, for the first time in the history EC, the Maharashtra election commission has considered this measure and has implemented the same for panchayat and local body elections.

Thus, parties will have to be extra careful in selecting the candidates for elections.