Eighty-six per cent of the candidates, who had contested Lok Sabha elections from Thane, Kalyan and the six constituencies of Mumbai in 2009, had lost their deposit, reveals data released by the Maharashtra Election Department.
Of the 172 candidates, who contested election from the eight constituencies, 148 had to part with Rs 25,000 paid as security deposit to the Election Commission.
Despite this, the constituencies have a total of 161 candidates, including 70 Independent candidates and 40 others are from lesser known regional and national parties, in the fray this time, just 11 less than that in 2009.
Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) candidate from Mumbai South, Meera Sanyal, had contested as an independent in 2009, but lost her deposit, having polled only 10,157 votes (1.58 per cent of the total votes polled). But with the backing of the AAP, Sanyal is hopeful of a better performance this time.
“The general trend across the country has been an increase in the number of candidates losing their deposits. But, this has been observed more sharply in Mumbai over the years. This implies that voters in the urban sector tend to vote for winnable candidates. How will these equations change with a number of credible candidates contesting as Aam Aadmi Party candidates is something which needs to be seen,” said a member of the BJP Mumbai unit.
A candidate contesting from a general seat has to deposit Rs 25,000 as security deposit. The amount is Rs 12,500 for candidates contesting from reserved seats. In order to retain his/her deposit, the candidate has to poll one-sixth of the total valid votes cast in his/her constituency.
In 2009, 27 out of 30 contesting candidates in Thane, the home turf of NCP strongman Ganesh Naik, had lost their deposit. Despite that, with 11 Independents contesting the upcoming election from Thane, the constituency has clocked the highest number of independent candidates.
Similarly, 17 out of 20 candidates in Kalyan had lost their deposit. In Mumbai North Central where sitting Congress MP Priya Dutt will take on BJP’s Poonam Mahajan, 13 out of 19 candidates had lost their deposit in 2009. In the Mumbai North East seat, 13 out of 16 candidates had lost their deposit.