Today last date to withdraw nominations

Independents demand their pound of flesh to withdraw nominations, say party candidates

  • In Varuna there are 23 independents, 17 in Chamundeshwari
  • Three EVMs have to be used in Varuna as 35 are in the fray

Mysuru, Apr. 27 – Today is the last day for withdrawal of nominations and in the hope of winning a particular constituency, official party candidates were seen wooing independents to withdraw their candidatures so that votes do not get split and the attention of voters are not diverted from voting to main political parties.

These independent candidates can be a roadblock to the candidates who are on the path of victory. They can considerably dent the vote share of the candidates and this will make a huge difference when it comes to victory margins. Suppose the losing margin is slender, political parties usually blame the independents for snatching away votes.

An independent or nonpartisan politician is an individual politician not affiliated with any political party. There are numerous reasons why someone may stand for office as an independent. Independents may support policies which are different from those of the major political parties. In many constituencies, voters may have a tradition of electing independents, so standing for a political party is a disadvantage.

An independent candidate can secure a big margin of votes if his community members are a majority in the constituency. This is the reason why independent candidates, in the event of losing elections, do not mind even forfeiting the deposit that they have paid at the time of nominations.

Some clever ones even contact political parties and demand their pound of flesh to withdraw their papers. Even political parties do not mind paying money to those independents who have a considerable sway over the voters. Once they persuade the independent candidate to withdraw their nominations, they can ask them (independents) to canvas for the official candidate of the party.

On their part, the official candidates have the responsibility of ensuring that the independents are convinced to withdraw the nominations before going to the voters.

“Vote share gets divided and these independents can dent the fortune of a candidate in the electoral race,” said a party candidate.

Official party candidates said that some independent candidates are demanding money to withdraw nominations. “More than spending money, we are convincing independents to withdraw nominations,” a candidate said.

In all the 11 Assembly constituencies in Mysuru, the number of independents who have filed their nomination papers are a majority. In Varuna Constituency, there are a 35 candidates in the fray and among them, 23 are independents.

In Chamundeshwari, out of 24 candidates, 17 are independents and in Krishnaraja Constituency, there are 11 independents among 21 candidates.

The situation is similar in Chamaraja Constituency where there are 10 independents among 18 candidates, 3 independents out of 11 candidates in Periyapatna, 9 independents in Narasimharaja out of 18 candidates. In K.R. Nagar, there are three independents among 9 candidates, 8 independents among 15 candidates in Hunsur, one independent among 8 candidates in H.D. Kote and 4 independents among 10 candidates from Nanjangud.

Double evms

The maximum number of independents has forced the Election Commission to use more than one Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) in booths. As they cannot deny an independent candidate his democratic right to contest, his/ her name and poll symbol has to be included in the EVM.

One EVM can have a list of 15 candidates with a button for NOTA (None of the Above). If the number of independents is above 15 for example, the Election Commission has to make a provision of double and treble EVMs with its control unit and ballot unit and also Voter Verifiable Paper Trail (VVPAT) in all the booths of the constituency.

With double EVMs and the related machines, the voter is likely to get confused, especially the rural voters who are yet to get accustomed to the machines, say political parties. As the number of independents is more, three EVMs and the related machines have to be used in Varuna while a provision of double EVMs has to be made in Chamundeshwari, Krishnaraja, Chamaraja, Narasimharaja and T. Narasipur constituencies.


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