K. Srinivas Reddy

HYDERABAD: No election is complete without them. Majority might dismiss them as inconsequential, but they are the die-hard optimists.

Each of them would firmly believe that lady luck would smile on them and they would win elections as independent candidates.

No, they are not the aspirants denied tickets by political parties trying out their luck at the hustings.

They are ordinary citizens who believe that they can certainly make a difference in the democratic polity by contesting polls.

And there would not be a dearth of these independents this time too. And in some cases the meagre votes they get might tilt the scales affecting the winning chances of serious candidates too.

Dr. K. Laxman of the BJP who contested from Musheerabad Assembly constituency in 2004 learnt it the hard way. He lost to N. Narsimha Reddy of TRS by a meagre margin of 240 votes and there were three independent candidates who polled more than 240 votes each and if only these votes were cast in favour of Dr. Laxman, he would have won.

There were 58 independent candidates in the Assembly elections in the city constituencies in 2004 polls and the only candidate who got a sizeable chunk of votes was C. Krishna Yadav (15,974) in Himayatnagar constituency. Mr. Yadav was then in judicial remand in the Telgi scam. Maharajgunj, the smallest Assembly segment in the State then also had another record to its credit. An independent candidate Vizarath Ali Khan got just 37 votes.

His rival, another independent, A. Narendar was a shade better. He got 39 votes.

Why would an independent candidate take up the undoubtedly insurmountable task? A renowned psychiatrist P. Raghurami Reddy feels that such people might have an intense desire to be identified as a special person. Elections provide an opportunity for them to satiate that need.

“Even if the opportunity provides a remote chance of winning, they would go for it because at least till the results are out, they get that recognition,” Dr. Reddy analyses.