U.P. past under scanner: After 10 elections, count of candidates fell in 2019 - Hindustan Times
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U.P. past under scanner: After 10 elections, count of candidates fell in 2019

By, Prayagraj
Apr 25, 2024 06:22 PM IST

In 2019, just 979 candidates were in the fray from 80 seats in UP, whereas in the previous 10 Lok Sabha elections held from 1980 to 2014, the number of candidates was over 1,000.

After 10 consecutive Lok Sabha elections, the last Lok Sabha elections, in 2019, saw a decrease in the number of candidates in Uttar Pradesh, a scrutiny of the Election Commission’s data of past polls shows. In 2019, just 979 candidates were in the fray from 80 seats in UP, whereas in the previous 10 Lok Sabha elections held from 1980 to 2014, the number of candidates was over 1,000. At the same time, in the six elections held before 1980, ie between 1951 and 1977, the number of candidates was less than a thousand, the records show.

EVM Machine (For representation only) (HT File Photo)
EVM Machine (For representation only) (HT File Photo)

Security deposit increased

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The number of candidates in the 1996 elections (3,297 candidates) was more than double that of the previous election in 1991 (1605 candidates) and three to four times more than that in the elections held before 1991. Major parties often used to field dummy candidates to cut votes and get higher sanctioned limits for facilities during campaigning, voting and counting of votes.

Taking a lesson from this situation, the Election Commission had increased the security deposit twentyfold from 500 to 10,000 in the 1998 elections to prevent non-serious candidates from entering the fray. When the number of candidates increased once again in the 2009 elections, the Commission again more than doubled the security deposit from the 2014 elections to 25,000.

If one looks at all the 17 Lok Sabha elections held so far, the highest number of candidates were in the 1996 elections when 3,062 candidates entered the fray across the entire Hindi heartland state. However, at that time there were 85 Lok Sabha seats in UP.

The lowest number of candidates was in the second election ie 1957 Lok Sabha election, when there were only 292 candidates from UP; the special thing being that at that time the present-day Uttarakhand was also a part of UP.

Of the 17 Lok Sabha general elections held so far on both the seats of Prayagraj (earlier Allahabad), the 1996 election was the one in which the highest number of candidates were fielded. In this election, 85 people filed their nomination papers from the Allahabad seat. Of these, eight had later withdrawn their nominations while the nominations of seven others were rejected during scrutiny, finally leaving 73 candidates in the fray.

Likewise, 50 people had filed nominations from Phulpur. Of these, the nominations of three were rejected while six had withdrawn their names. Thus, 45 candidates were left in the election fray. At the same time, out of 29 candidates who had filed their nominations from Chail (now Kaushambi) seat, five had withdrawn their names and a total of 24 candidates were in the fray, while on the Pratapgarh seat, 45 had filed their nominations, four had withdrawn from the election which had left 41 candidates in the fray.

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