Some are just like that. While they know very well at the outset that they won't gain anything from what they are doing, they simply do it just for the sake of spoiling the fortunes of others who are in it with a clear purpose.

And in the electoral arena they go by the sobriquet “namesakes”.

They are the ones who contest the election or are foisted on the electoral scene by the rival fronts in spite of their reluctance simply because they share a similar name with those of the serious candidates.

Namesakes in the garb of independent candidates were present in only eight out of the 14 Assembly constituencies in the district this time. Thankfully, even in those constituencies they were far from a significant factor in the outcome.

Only two of them bagged votes in excess of 1,000. In both the cases, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidates were the victims. Sebastian Njalamkunnel, the namesake of the LDF candidate Sebastian Paul, was the ‘winner' among the namesakes bagging 2,347 votes.

Mr. Paul, however, could hardly blame it for his defeat as he went down to his United Democratic Front (UDF)-rival Hibi Eden by 32,437 votes.

Commander Skariah Thomas, the LDF-backed independent from Kothamangalam, probably lost 1,008 votes to one Skaria Thomas and another 363 votes to Skaria Thomman.

In Aluva constituency, Anwar Sadath Panackaparambil, namesake of the UDF candidate Anwar Sadath grabbed 547 votes while his LDF rival A.M. Yousaf had to contend with the 829 votes bagged by his namesake M.M. Yoosaf Mundakkal.

LDF candidate in Kalamassery K. Chandran Pillai had his namesake Chandrasekhara Pillai, who got 657 votes, while his namesake P.P. Raveendran most probably cost the LDF candidate in Paravur Pannian Raveendran 493 votes.

The votes secured by namesakes Dominic C.J. (590) and Babu Keezhathuparambu (330) in Kochi and Tripunithura constituencies respectively could not stop Dominic Presentation and K. Babu from notching up impressive margins against their LDF rivals.

In Thrikkakara, both the LDF and the UDF candidates had namesakes. While Hassainar, the namesake of LDF candidate M.E. Hassainar, managed 933 votes; Benny George could only usurp 410 votes that in all possibility would have gone to the UDF candidate Benny Behanan.

Neither front could afford the undemocratic strategy of fielding namesakes in Paravur for fear of it backfiring as the constituency saw the face-off between two Jacobs - M.J. Jacob of LDF and T.M. Jacob of UDF. Whether the similarity of names played a part or not, they were separated by a mere 157 votes.

Only two of the ‘namesake' candidates bagged more than

1,000 votes.

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