Fielding namesakes might be the oldest trick in the book to confuse voters, but it is a sure-shot way to cut vote shares of top candidates. Ask Chandu Lal Sahu, the Bharatiya Janata Party candidate from Mahasamund. While Sahu still managed to win against Congress bigwig Ajit Jogi, his 10 namesakes in the poll fray drastically reduced his victory margin.
Sahu, also known as Chandu Bhaiya, in the end had a wafer-thin majority of 1,217 votes. While Sahu secured 5,03,514 votes, Jogi got 5,02,297 votes.
Interestingly, of the 28 candidates in the fray in the constituency, 10 candidates had names similar to Chandu Lal Sahu. The other Sahu’s together accounted for over 70,000 votes, thus eating into the vote share of the BJP candidate. The original Sahu’s margin could actually have been well over 70,000.
Much to the displeasure of Sahu, the second and third runners-up in the constituency were independent candidates with names similar to him, who secured 20,255 votes and 123,08 votes.
Thankfully, the namesakes could not steal the victory from him.