Independents fell like ninepins | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Independents fell like ninepins

delhi Updated: May 18, 2009 00:09 IST
Atul Mathur

Drycleaner Rajpal Singh (37) contested the Lok Sabha election to improve the lot of people in his community and locality.

Businessman Ashish Saxena (29) contested to bring about a change in the system.

Dr Prem Singh (52), a professor in Delhi University, stood for election to create an alternative political space.

But Delhi was not impressed by their intentions.

Like the 69 other Independents in the fray in New Delhi, Rajpal, Saxena and Dr Singh lost their security deposits. Together, the 72 Independents polled 63,517 votes – just 1.1 per cent of the 57.47 lakh cast in Delhi on May 7.

Of the 160 candidates who contested the Lok Sabha election in Delhi, 72 were Independents while 67 represented state-level and registered political groups.

All but the 14 BJP and Congress candidates lost their security deposits.

Likewise, in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, 70 of the 129 candidates were Independents while 33 represented unregistered and small parties.


Senior political leaders said, apart from a few sincere individuals who actually want to bring about a change in society, most Independents are dilettantes.

“They just want to see their names on ballot papers and, now, on electronic voting machines,” said BJP’s Delhi state president OP Kohli.

Political experts said individuals representing a caste or community dominant in a constituency are usually propped up by rival political parties.

“But such candidates can make an impact only in the smaller elections where victory or defeat is decided by just a few hundred or few thousand votes,” Kohli said.

Still hopeful

Independents, however, remain upbeat about making a mark in Delhi in the coming years.

“By 2019, our group will surely have at least two MPs from Delhi,” said Saxena, who fought the election with the support of the Youth for Equality.