More than 70% or 1,576 candidates who contested the recent Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls have lost their deposit, as they could not manage to secure 1/8th of the total number of votes cast in their wards.
The city has 227 wards for which 2,232 candidates had filed their nominations, with most of them contesting as independents. “Of the 70% who lost their deposit, almost 55% are from the independent category,” said a senior official from the civic election department, on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The official said that these could be the candidates who did not take the election seriously and may be termed as ‘non-serious’ candidates who appear in every election.
To file a nomination from an open ward, the candidate has to pay Rs5,000 to the BMC. The amount is half — Rs2,500 — for any ward reserved on the basis of caste or for women. To save the deposit amount, the candidate must secure at least 1/8th of the total number of votes cast in the respective ward.
Surendra Jondhale, a political expert, said that candidates file nomination as independents when they are interested in being a part of active politics. “Moreover people, nowadays, want to be the decision makers. Hence, they file nominations without any hesitation,” he said.
The BMC will earn around Rs70 lakh from the deposit amount of 1,576 candidates who could not get the minimum number of votes.
Approximately 1,150 candidates are from the open wards while the remaining are from reserved wards. “There are various categories of candidates such as educated, professional, connected to social organisations, NGOs, ambitious, for social status or aspirants who wish to prove themselves in politics,” said Jondhale.