NammaTrichy - Online News Portal about Trichy Tamilnadu


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TRICHY: In an election where every single vote matters, it takes strategy to convert them into victory even if they are not meant to be cast for you. One such technique pursued by political parties is to field an independent candidate whose name is or near identical to the rival candidate.

Political parties acknowledge that such distraction will divert confuse a section of undecided voters. Such practice was followed in the previous general election and is likely to be a part of this election as well. In the 2014 Lok Sabha election in Trichy constituency, the main contest was between DMK’s Mu Anbhalagan who contested on Rising Sun and AIADMK’s P Kumar who contested on Two Leaves symbol. Among the list of 29 candidates in the fray, there was another P Kumar and M Anbalagan besides the AIADMK and DMK candidates.

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While the independent candidate M Anbalagan whose name slightly differ from the DMK’s candidate, contested on trumpet symbol secured only 636 votes, the independent candidate P Kumar who shares the same name of AIADMK candidate, contesting on unfamiliar grapes symbol, secured 4,077 votes. The votes secured by the independent candidate P Kumar were higher than any other independent and even a couple of candidates from national parties including Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

“Affluent parties will field people whose name is similar to that of their rivals as an independent candidate to divert votes of confused voters. Such people chosen to distract voters will mostly be a common man known to a party functionary,” a functionary with left party said. Sources in AIADMK acknowledging the practice said that they had lost a few votes to an independent sharing the name of incumbent MP P Kumar. With Congress fielding former TNCC president Su Thirunavukkarasar and DMDK in AIADMK front fielding Dr V Elangovan, similar names such as S Thirunavukarasu and C Elangovan identical to that of Congress and DMDK candidates are on the list of independents who filed nomination in Trichy.

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