Home India Politics Battle of namesakes for the ballot baffles voters

Battle of namesakes for the ballot baffles voters


New Delhi : Sasi Tirur vs Shashi Tharoor, Jose K. Mani vs Jose K. Mani, K. Suresh Kurup vs K. Suresh Kurup… It’s the time tested way to baffle people and deflect votes, and nowhere perhaps is this confusion more confounded than in Kerala.

To the annoyance of political parties, be it the Congress or the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), large numbers of candidates find themselves challenged by a namesake in this election to the 20 Lok Sabha seats from the state.

Confusion reigns supreme in Kottayam, for instance, where a bitter fight is underway between CPI-M MP K. Suresh Kurup and Kerala Congress-Mani’s Jose K. Mani. But guess what? There is another K. Suresh Kurup and another Jose K. Mani in the fray too.

Party sources said a man who shares Mani’s name was secretly brought by air from Delhi and sent back after he filed his nomination from Kottayam. Ditto with Kurup, who finds himself battling another Kurup.

In Thiruvananthapuram, a man called Sasi Tirur is fighting against former UN undersecretary general Shashi Tharoor.

The name game can have a disastrous outcome.

Just ask senior Congress leader V.M. Sudheeran, who was aiming for a hattrick from Alappuzha in the 2004 Lok Sabha polls. He was trumped by a person called V.S. Sudheeran, who managed 8,282 votes – V.M. Sudheeran lost by a mere 964 votes.


Varun campaign? No thank you, says Madhya Pradesh BJP

Sections of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) might be exulting in the attention their party’s Pilibhit candidate Varun Gandhi is getting after his inflammatory speeches. But there is one place where the ‘other Gandhi’ won’t be welcome — Madhya Pradesh, where the party’s election in-charge is Sushma Swaraj.

The senior BJP leader made it clear to party workers that they should not hope that Varun Gandhi, now behind bars and booked under the National Security Act, would be campaigning for them in the state.

The reason: The party does not want to polarise votes and threaten its chances in certain constituencies.

“We are in the government here (Madhya Pradesh), and the government doesn’t use this (kind of) language. We don’t have to do any such thing which can be termed as ‘aa bail mujhe maar (which can harm us)’,” Swaraj told party workers.


What is BSP’s new name?

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati’s supporters have coined a new name for their party – not just Bahujan Samaj Party but also the Best Secular Party (BSP).

Busy campaigning for the party, BSP activists in Lucknow can be seen these days carrying flags with the `new name’ – minus the original name.

Maybe, it could be the Varun Gandhi factor.


Once bitten?

You could call her accident prone or simply cautious. Trinamool Congress’ Lok Sabha candidate celluloid star Satabdi Roy escaped with minor injuries last week when a stage collapsed in her Birbhum Lok Sabha constituency when she was addressing a party gathering.

And history could have repeated itself in the West Bengal constituency Sunday — but this time she was alert and escaped unscathed.

She heard a sound and saw a portion of the state being damaged. Roy swung into action and immediately asked her supporters to get down. She knew a second fall could well become an issue for her political opponents.

“I might not be a political person. Thus I don’t understand politics very well. But, at least I can say, I can understand people very well,” she boasted.