The recent Assembly polls in four states and the Union Territory of Puducherry did not bring good news for over 3,500 independent candidates as only nine of them could win.
Of those successful, the maximum six won from Kerala and one each from West Bengal, Assam and Puducherry. None of the 1,566 independent candidates, the highest among the four states, could win from Tamil Nadu.
A total of 3,526 independent candidates contested the Assembly polls. Of these, 782 were in Kerala, 711 in Assam, 371 in West Bengal and 96 in Puducherry, according to an analysis of Election Commission’s data.
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Polls were held between April 4 and May 16 for a total of 822 constituencies in the four states–West Bengal (294), Tamil Nadu (232), Kerala (140), Assam (126) and Union Territory of Puducherry (30). Polls in two constituencies of Tamil Nadu were deferred.
As many as 8,873 candidates had contested the polls. The highest number of 3776 were in Tamil Nadu, 1,961 in West Bengal, 1,581 in Assam, 1,203 in Kerala and 344 in Puducherry.
Of the total of 761 women candidates, as many as 320 were in the fray in Tamil Nadu, 200 in West Bengal, 111 in Assam, 109 in Kerala and 21 in Puducherry.
In West Bengal, independents secured 2.2 per cent of total vote share polling 11,84,047 votes, in Tamil Nadu 1.4 per cent (6,17,907 votes) and Kerala 5.3 per cent (10,66,995 votes). In Assam, independent candidates had 11 per cent vote share (18,67, 532 votes) and in Puducherry 7.9 per cent (62,884 votes).
There were 6,55,46,101 voters in West Bengal, 5,79,15,075 in Tamil Nadu and 2,56,08,720 in Kerala. The number of electors was 1,98,66,496 in Assam and 9,27,034 in Puducherry.
In the last Assembly polls in these states in 2011, seven independent candidates had won. Of them two each were in West Bengal, Assam and Kerala, and one in Puducherry. None of the independents had won in Tamil Nadu even then.
A total of 2,556 independents were in fray in these five states in 2011. Of them, a highest of 1,504 were in Tamil Nadu, 401 in West Bengal, 309 in Kerala, 263 in Assam and 79 in Puducherry.