Indian Express

Elections 2014: Welcome to Kerala, the land of the namesakes

In Kerala, namesakes abound in all seats in a bid to cut votes of popular candidates. Tweet This
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And the politicians are doing what they do best again. Making fool of themselves. (AP Photo) And the politicians are doing what they do best again. Making fool of themselves. (AP Photo)

As the 20 seats in Kerala prepare for Lok Sabha elections on Thursday, some of the candidates will find some serious competition for their namesakes. With the Congress-led UDF taking on the CPI(M)-led LDF in what is largely a bipolar battle, these namesakes have been propped up to create confusion among unsuspecting voters. Some might might end up voting for the wrong candidate, and these small vote shares could prove crucial in the battles that is characteristic of the poll battles in Kerala.

For instance, in Kasargode, there are two candidates with the same surname: T Siddique from the Congress and an independent candidate called A Siddique. CPI(M)’s P Karunakaran also find a namesake in Independent candidate Karunakaran Kalippurayil.

In neighbouring Kannur, Congress has fielded K Sudhakaran, while there are two others with exactly the same name, both independent candidates.

In Vadakara, CPI(M) candidate Adv A M Shamseer has a namesake A P Shamseer, again an independent candidate.

In Kozhikode, Congress candidate M K Raghavan has as many as three namesakes: M Raghavan, V M Raghavan and Vijayraghavan K, all independents.

In Alathur, there are four candidates with the surname Biju: P K Biju from CPI(M), and independents A Biju, K Biju and R Biju.

In Idduki constituency, there are three Independent candidates with surname Jospeh: James Joseph, Shoby Joseph and Biju Joseph.

In Kollam, M A Baby from CPI(M) and will take on M Baby an Independent, while the other two Independent candidates are called Premachandran.

Alappuzha constituency has two candidates with similar a surname: CPI(M)’s C B Chandrababu and Chandrababu (independent).

In Attingal, there are two independent candidates by the name Suresh and two candidates by the name Anil Kumar.

Thiruvananthapuram, where Congress’ Shashi Tharoor is being challenged by Benet Abraham of the CPI, there is a Benet Babu Benjamin (independent) also in the fray.

It remains to be seen how the ‘namesake’  factor can affect the polling results in the state.

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