Namesake candidates in Kerala may play spoilsport for LS polls

In a major strategy by political parties to beat the opponents, namesake candidates are put up against prominent political leaders.

Published: 03rd April 2019 01:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd April 2019 01:55 AM   |  A+A-

CPI(M), BJP, Congress

Representational Image. (File |PTI and EPS)

Express News Service

KOCHI:  Senior Congress leader VM Sudheeran knows better than any one how a namesake can cause a poll debacle. In the 2004 Lok Sabha polls, Sudheeran lost to CPM’s KS Manoj by 1,009 votes, while his namesake VS Sudheeran polled 8,281 votes.

This general elections too, putting up namesake candidates against prominent political leaders will be a major strategy by political parties to beat the opponents. While it will be quite a task to find names akin to a few prominent candidates having unique surnames, it will be easy to find people with names similar to a few candidates having common names. Political experts say the unhealthy practice of fielding dummy candidates against political opponents undermines the democratic process.

“If we look at the election history, dummy candidates have scuttled the prospects of many a prominent leader. This unhealthy practice, in fact, is an exploitation of a candidate’s right to contest elections from a place of his/her choice,” said political observer NM Pearson. Party insiders admit the challenge is getting a right dummy candidates. But if they find one, the strategy has always paid rich dividend. “We field dummy candidates in constituencies where the opposition camp has high chance of victory.


If we manage to eat into the votes of winnable candidate, we stand a better chance to win the seat,” said a veteran leader.  An analysis of the contests, where dummy candidates really made an impact on the chances of prominent candidates, revealed that whenever a namesake candidate had secured more than 3,000 to 4,000 votes, the real candidate lost by a wafer-thin margin.

In the 2009 LS elections, CPM’s PA Mohamed Riyas lost to UDF’s MK Raghavan in Kozhikode by a margin of 838 votes after three namesake candidates - K Mohammed Riyas, P Mohammed Riyas and PA Mohammad Riyas - managed to carve out a total of 4,000 votes. In Palakkad consituency, UDF candidate Satheeshan Pacheni lost to LDF candidate MB Rajesh by 1,820 votes after a dummy candidate EV Satheesan got 5,478 votes.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp