Hyderabad: The number of votes polled for NOTA in the Telangana elections 2018 is more than all independent candidates put together. Reports say that each constituency has seen at least three independent candidates, Malkajgiri alone saw 18 independents in this election. Out of 675 independents, only two won in Telangana elections and both have reportedly agreed to join the TRS.
The independents have to spend up to 10 lakhs for electioneering and other expenses. Major political parties do not like them because they separate votes of the main candidates and weaken their vote base. Telangana Elections 2018 saw entities like New India Party, Jai Swaraj Party, Samajwadi Forward Bloc, Nava Prajarajyam Party, Telangana Labour Party, Anarakshit Samaj Party.
Among those independents who contested from Hyderabad were Infosys employee Ravinder Uppula who bagged 370 votes in Serilingampally constituency, activist Lubna Sarwath from Karwan got 155 votes, Marri Aditya Reddy, son of former Sanathnagar MLA Marri Shashidhar Reddy, 651 at Tandur.
A political analyst, said, “Many candidates fight for ulterior purposes like cutting the votes of main candidates from one particular caste, religion, and gender, etc. There are a plethora of reasons why they do it ,could be for publicity, for or against some candidate. Another prime reason is to increase the expenditure allowance for a rival candidate.”
He said some independents turn famous overnight, or enter the fray to express their frustration. This election also saw few rebel candidates opting to contest as independents upon being denied ticket. “Only very few win the election. An independent candidate faces many difficulties in convincing his voters about his claims of good work,” he added.
Another interesting aspect is that rival parties position a number of independent candidates in constituencies where bigwigs contest. This is done to sidetrack votes. The number of votes scored by Independents and Nota was high in Jubilee Hills constituency affecting the major contenders.
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