There are rebel candidates, the turncoats and electoral novices. There are the challengers and pretenders. And then there are the namesakes.
As nomination drew to a close on Saturday in Kerala, many a candidate woke up to the nightmare of finding several others of the same name in the fray.
Kerala goes to the polls on April 10.
Ponnani in Malappuram district has the maximum number — four Abdul Rehman are in the fray against the Left Democratic Front-supported independent V Abdul Rehman.
And in Attingal in south Kerala, one A Sampath has filed papers against sitting MP A Sampath.
Barring four constituencies, all of the 20 have candidates who are generally referred to as ‘fake’.
These non-serious candidates usually disappear after filing their nominations though they get enough “rewards” for taking voters for a ride – discreet favours passed on by parties or individuals.
In the 2004 elections, Congress candidate from Alapuzha VM Sudheeran (now PCC chief) was defeated by a narrow margin of 800-odd votes. His shadow candidate VS Sudheeran had managed 8,832 votes, ensuring the defeat of the ‘original’.
“It is a disturbing trend. These candidates are subverting the mandate. It is high time political parties and the Election Commission take note of this,” said the PCC chief.
Poll officials say they are totally helpless and cannot prevent anyone from contesting.