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Gujarat polls: Small parties eat into votebank, add to giants’ worries

Wednesday, 5 December 2012 - 4:18pm IST

Registered and unrecognised parties fortify presence this assembly elections too.

Gujarat, a hotbed of political issues since time immemorial has kept it tradition alive till this day, with newer faces and little known parties surfacing every passing election. Data of the 1998 assembly election in the state stands proof of the statement — while five state political parties contested the polls, six ‘registered and unrecognised’ political parties gave them a run for their
money literally.

But, that’s not the end of the story — their tribe is increasing. A peek into the data put up on Chief Electorate Officer’s site will reveal that there was 4.5 times leap in the numbers when around 27 ‘registered and unrecognised’ political parties fielded their candidates from different constituency in 2007 election. More than six state-level parties fielded its candidate from different constituencies in that year’s Gujarat assembly election.

If the data of candidates fielded by smaller political parties (by the presence of its candidates) like Bahujan Samajwadi Party, Janta Dal United, Lok Janshakti Party, Samajwadi Party etc is anything to go by, increase in number of candidates fielded by such smaller political parties may also emerge as a threat for bigger parties like BJP and Congress. For example, SP which had fielded 48 candidates in 2002 assembly election and only 21 candidates in 2007 assembly election has fielded 82 candidates from 182 constituency of Gujarat assembly election. The case is no different for JD-U, which fielded 29 candidates in 2002 and 35 candidates in 2007 election have fielded as many as 60 candidates from different constituencies. “With more candidates fielded, we aim to get more votes than last year too. With more and better candidates this time, we also aim to win 7 to
8 seats at least,” asserted

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