Apart from the fact that who is the winner and who is runner-up, an interesting fact in elections is that how many contesting candidates could save their security deposits.
It is also a matter of pride for the candidates if they save their deposits, whereas forfeiture of deposit is often seen as humiliating. As per the Election Commission of India Rules, if the candidate fails to get a minimum of one-sixth of the total valid votes polled, the deposit goes to the treasury.
The results of last 15 Lok Sabha elections shown a rising trend in candidates forfeiting their deposits and forfeiture of deposit has not been a deterrent for not contesting lections.
In the first Lok Sabha elections in 1951-52, 745 out of 1,874 (almost 40 per cent) candidates forfeited their deposits. In the 11th Lok Sabha elections in 1996, where 91 per cent or 12,688 out of 13,952 candidates lost their deposits. This was the elections which also saw highest number of candidates contesting for the Lok Sabha.
The 2009 Lok Sabha elections turned out to be not so good for the candidates when as many as 85 per cent of them lost their deposits, percentage-wise the third highest after 91 per cent in 1996 elections and 86 per cent in 1991 elections.
However, candidates from national parties have fared well in saving their deposits. The 1977 general elections witnessed best performance ever by national parties as only 100 out of 1,060 candidates (nine per cent) from these parties lost their deposits.
Comparatively, 2009 general elections did not prove out to be that good for national parties’ candidates as almost every second candidate lost their deposits. In 2009, 779 out of 1,623 candidate from national parties lost their deposits.
Worst ever for the national party candidates was the 11th Lok Sabha elections when 49 per cent or 897 out of 1,817 candidates lost their deposits.