More than 100 candidates have failed to score even 100 votes in the assembly polls across five states, including activist Irom Sharmila who could get just 90 votes and vowed to never contest elections again.
Number of such candidates was five or more in some constituencies, including in Allahabad North and Muzaffar Nagar in Uttar Pradesh, as also in Uttarakhand’s Rajpur and Punjab’s Guru Har Sahai. While most such candidates were independent or from little-known small parties, some of them were even from well- known parties such as CPI (M) and Trinamool Congress. In almost all these cases, even the number of votes cast for ‘NOTA (None Of The Above) was higher. Besides, a much larger number of candidates could garner less than 500 votes each.
Going by the total number of candidates in the fray, Manipur accounted for the largest share of the people managing to get less than 100 votes at about 20 per cent, while this ratio was not even 1 per cent in Uttar Pradesh and little higher in Punjab and at about 10 per cent in Goa. While more than 4,800 candidates were in the fray in UP, Goa saw over 250 contestants. More than 600 people contested in Uttarakhand and over 1,100 in Punjab. Nearly 100 persons stood for the election in Manipur. There are 40 constituencies in Goa, 70 in Uttarakhand and 60 in Manipur, while Punjab has 117 and Uttar Pradesh has 403.
In Manipur’s Thoubal, Irom Sharmila Chanu of Peoples Resurgence and Justice Alliance could get just 90 votes, though higher than independent candidate Akoija, Manglemjao Singh’s 66 votes. Congress’ Okram Ibobi Singh defeated BJP’s Leithanthem Basanta Singh with a margin more than 10,000 votes. The voting for this seat, which had just four candidates in the fray, also saw 143 votes for NOTA. Konthoujam, another constituency in Manipur, had just three candidates in the fray but one independent could get just 83 votes — lower than 92 for NOTA.
At another seat, one CPI (M) candidate scored less than 100 votes, while same was the fate for a leader of All India Trinamool Congress in another constituency in the state. In total, Manipur had more than 20 seats where one or more candidates could garner less than 100 votes. In Punjab, at least three seats saw more than one candidate getting less than 100 votes, while three other seats had one such candidate each. In UP, Muzaffarnagar and Meerut had more than one such seats, while at least four others had one each such candidate. Uttarakhad had at least 32 seats with one or more candidates scoring less than 100 votes, which included Rajpur, Roorkee, Khanpur, Almora, Dehradun Cantt, Hardwar, Mussorie, Pitoragarh and Devprayag.In Goa, more than 20 seats had such candidates including in Dabolim, Panaji, St Andre, St Cruz and Vasco Di Gama.