THIRUVANANTHAPURA

Polling booth tricks: Namesake spoilers still on prowl | Thiruvananthapuram News

Kozhikode: The namesake menace continues to haunt the state’s poll scene with political parties perfecting the unfair tactics with every election.
If one thinks that finding a namesake for a candidate with an uncommon name as C P Cheriya Mohammed, the UDF candidate in Thiruvambady, would be difficult, think again. He has a namesake opponent by the name K P Cheriya Mohammed. Not to be outdone, the LDF candidate in the constituency, Linto Joseph, also has a namesake with the same name.
UDF-supported Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) candidate in Vadakara K K Rema has to face three other namesakes including one with the exact name, K K Rama along with another Rama and Rama KTK as namesake candidates.
In the nearby Kuttiady constituency, which is witnessing a spirited fight between UDF’s Parakkal Abdulla and CPM’s K P Kunhammed Kutti, both the candidates have namesakes with Kunhammed Kutti having to face namesake K K Kunhammed Kutti.
Same is the case of LDF independent candidate in Perinthalmanna Muhammed Musthafa, who will have the worrisome company of another Muhammed Musthafa along with two other Musthafas in the EVM voting panel.
MLA in Tanur, V Abdurahiman has three other persons with the same name Abdurahiman while his opponent P K Firos of the IUML has two namesakes.
UDF independent candidate Dinesh Perumanna (Dinesh Kumar) in Kunnamangalam has two namesakes in Dinesh M and Dineshan.
Though the state has near 100% literacy, several top politicians in the state have fallen victim to the fake candidates. For instance, Congress leader V M Sudheeran lost to Dr K S Manoj of the CPM by a narrow margin of 1,009 votes in Alappuzha in the 2004 Lok Sabha election and the person responsible for the electoral debacle was V S Sudheeran, a CPM member, who secured 8,282 votes.
The continuing proliferation of namesakes in the candidate list shows that political parties have made deploying namesakes as an essential to-do activity as part of the election management.
“The practice by political parties to field namesakes shows that grabbing power has become the be-all and end-all of political parties. It is highly unfortunate for political parties to adopt such immoral tactics to defeat opponents as democracy is distinguished from other forms of government on the basis of the high moral timbre of the political actors involved,” J Prabhash, political scientist and former head of department of politics and Kerala University, said.

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