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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Dec 2014

With 3 seats, independents record worst-ever show

PTI  New Delhi, May 17, 2014
First Published: 15:29 IST(17/5/2014) | Last Updated: 15:47 IST(17/5/2014)

Victory eluded independent candidates in the Lok Sabha polls with just three winners amongst them, making it the lowest count in the history of Indian elections since 1952.

However, independents managed to garner about three% vote share, higher than parties like Aam Aadmi Party, NCP and CPI.

The polls for the 16th Lok Sabha saw as many as 3,234 independents in the fray out of total 8,241 candidates. Just three of them have been elected and two of them have won from Kerala. Both were supported by the Left front. As many as 37 independents got elected during the first general elections in 1952.

Naba Kumar Sarania (Hira) from Kokrajhar in Assam and two others are from Kerala -- comedian Innocent and advocate Joice George -- have won as independents.

Sarania has the highest victory margin and trounced his nearest rival and independent candidate Urkhao Gwra Brahma by 3,55,779 votes.

From Idukki constituency, George won by 50,542 votes beating Congress candidate Dean Kuriakose. Springing a surprise Innocent, who made his debut in general elections, won the Chalakudy seat by beating Congress veteran PC Chacko with 13,884 votes margin.

The three independents, who have won, together registered votes of more than 1.67 crore, accounting for 3% of total votes polled in this Lok Sabha elections, according to latest figures from the Election Commission.

In terms of vote share, BJP is on the top with 31%, followed by 19.3% for Congress. Only 7 parties have managed to get more than 3% vote share and include BSP, Trinamool Congress, SP, ADMK and CPM.

Those having lesser vote share than 3% of independents include TDP (2.5%), YSR Congress (2.5%), AAP (2%), Shiv Sena (1.9%), DMK (1.7%), BJD (1.7%), NCP (1.6%), RJD (1.3%) and TRS (1.2%).

The count of seats won by independents has been in single digits since 1991-92 polls. At that time, the seats won stood at five followed by 9 (1996), 6 (1998 and 1999), 5 (2004) and 9 (2009).

The independents would have got another seat had Ghulam Raza won in Ladakh, which has seen the lowest victory margin of 36 votes in this election.

Raza, who garnered 31,075 votes, lost to BJP candidate Thupstan Chhewang who recorded 31,111 votes.

Till now, the highest number of winning independent candidates were seen in 1957 elections when they won 42 seats.

In Indian Lok Sabha electoral history, only on six occasions independents have won seats in double digits. Besides, 1952 and 1957, independent candidates won 20 seats (in 1962 elections), 35 seats (1967), 14 seats (1971) and 12 seats (1989).


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