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Friday, May 17, 2019

No namesake trouble, candidates relieved


No namesake trouble, candidates relieved

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16

In a relief for candidates of all major political parties, not many namesakes are in the fray this election. Earlier, there had been a trend of fielding “clone” candidates or namesakes of popular leaders to create confusion among gullible voters.

No namesake candidate is in the fray this time, except in one constituency. Party insiders say in the last elections, the “clone” candidates had failed to make any significant dent in the fortunes of the main candidate.

Of the 13 Lok Sabha seats, namesake candidates figured in six seats in 2014. In the current election, only Khadoor Sahib has namesake candidates of the main contestants. It has two Paramjit Kaurs, including PDA candidate Paramjit Kaur Khalra. The same seat has two Jagir Kaurs, including SAD-BJP candidate Bibi Jagir Kaur.

Almost all political parties had used this strategy earlier to divert votes to the “clone” candidates. A controversy had also erupted over the fielding of a namesake of Manpreet Badal in Bathinda. He was never seen campaigning and even his picture was missing from his election posters. He had got 4,613 votes, which in final analysis didn’t matter much. These can, however, matter in close fights or muti-cornered contests like the current elections.

Last time, six constituencies — Amritsar, Bathinda, Sangrur, Faridkot, Ludhiana and Patiala – witnessed namesake candidates. From Amritsar, an Independent, Amarinder Singh, had bagged 1,059 votes. Another Independent Arun Kumar, who shared the first name of SAD-BJP’s Arun Jaitley, had got as many as 8,500 votes.

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