Faced with the spectre of close contests in highly polarised Kerala politics, candidates of UDF and LDF are haunted by their namesake independents fielded by rivals to create confusion among voters to snatch a few thousand vital votes that could make a difference between victory and defeat.
The one who was hurt the most by 'others' (namesake) phenomenon in the 2004 Lok Sabha polls was senior Congress leader V M Sudheeran who lost the Alappuzha seat by 1,009 votes against K Manoj of the CPI(M).His namesake, V S Sudheeran, an independent, got 8,288 votes which he believes were his but got cast in the account of the "other" Sudheeran out of confusion over the name.
The winner polled 45.95 per cent votes and runner up 45.81 per cent with the spoiler accounting for 1.13 per cent. Sudheeran, who had been elected to Parliament and Assembly several times, said the Election Commission should take some steps to avoid the problem of 'others'."I am a victim of the others. More often than not they are brought into the fray by vested interests deliberately to mislead the people. Some legal mechanism should be there to curb this problem," Sudheeran told PTI.In fact, the will of the people would get sabotaged by the presence of 'others', he said.