KOCHI: Every election, be it for a Lok Sabha or an Assembly seat, sees several namesakes of prominent candidates filing nominations and contesting from the same seat. Though they do not do much damage to their more famous counterparts, the namesakes do manage to get a good chunk of votes by confusing gullible voters.
This Lok Sabha election was no different. Though the number of namesakes this year was high, they hardly had any impact on the vote share of top leaders of prominent political parties.
Take the case of Wayanad, where Rahul Gandhi represented the UDF. Besides facing his usual competitors from the LDF and NDA in the constituency, the AICC chief was also pitted against two namesakes Rahul Gandhi K E and Rahul Gandhi K, who contested as independents.
However, other than getting publicity for the similarity of names, the duo did not eat into the vote share of the Gandhi scion, who polled more than 7 lakh votes. Together, both Rahul Gandhi K E and Rahul Gandhi K received just 3,041 votes.
The situation was similar in Ponnani, too. Here UDF’s E T Muhammed Basheer – who later won from the seat – was facing three namesakes, all of whom contested as independent candidates and managed to get 3,965 votes together. Of them, candidate Muhammed Basheer Mangalassery polled 1,957 votes, Muhammed Basheer Nechiyan polled 1,315 votes and Muhammed Basheer Koyissery polled 693 votes.
LDF candidate P V Anvar, who squared off against UDF’s Basheer in Ponnani, also had a few namesakes who together polled 4,893 votes.
In Kannur, K Sudhakaran of UDF had three namesakes who together took away 4,037 votes. However, they failed to make a dent in the vote share of the UDF candidate. LDF candidate P K Sreemathi, Sudhakaran’s rival in Kannur, also had a few namesakes who managed to get a total of just 1,377 votes.
As for who had the highest number of namesakes in this election, it was M K Raghavan, the UDF candidate from Kozhikode. Raghavan had four namesakes who contested from the Kozhikode seat and together managed to secure 3,661 votes. K Muraleedharan, the UDF candidate from Vadakara, also had a few namesakes pitted against him, neither of whom could make any difference to the huge number of votes he polled.