The name of the game is the game of the name
In about 50 of Kerala’s 140 seats, the LDF and the UDF have chosen candidates who, by virtue of their names, can potentially confuse voters and gain votes originally intended for their better known rivals.
Once they have filed their nominations, these namesakes don’t campaign; they don’t even appear in public. Their names in the electronic voting machine are enough.
The strategy has been known to work. In the 2004 Lok Sabha polls, senior Congress leader V M Sudheeran lost by 1,009 votes from Alapuzha because VS Sudheeran had stolen away 8,282 votes, In 2009, four namesakes proved too many for the CPM’s A Muhammed Riyas in Kozhikode. Between them they bagged 4,000 votes, allowing the Congress candidate to scrape through by 800.
This time, Poovalappil, who has been pitched against the LDF’s Puthiyavalappil, is an Independent allegedly sponsored by UDF candidate K P Mohanan— who himself has to face two namesakes, who match him initial for initial.
In Kannur, M P Abdullakutty is not the only worry for the Congress’s AP Abdullakutty. He faces also a namesake of his mentor K Sudhakaran, the local MP. The Left is hoping confused voters will chose ‘mentor Sudhakaran’ over ‘loyalist Abdullakutty’.
Contestants such as Ramesh Chennithala and Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, too, face namesakes.
This has to stop, says Sudheeran - the Congress leader, not the namesake who
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