`Small` price for political aspirationsApr 26th, 2009 | By Elections2009 | Category: Andhra Pradesh, Off-track
For polls: Adilabad District Election Officer Ahmad Nadeem accepting security deposit from aspiring contestant for Adilabad (ST) LS constituency.
ADILABAD: Going just by the number of contestants in the April 16 elections in this district it cannot be said that the amount of security deposit for candidates is really a deterrence for the non serious types. A large number of independents out of a total of 98 candidates for the 10 Assembly seats and nine for the Adilabad Lok Sabha constituency had contested the elections apparently even at the cost of forfeiting the security deposit money.
From just Rs. 500 for elections from a Lok Sabha constituency and Rs. 250 from an Assembly seat, the amount of security deposit was raised to Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 5,000 by the Election Commission in 1996 following its ‘experience’ in that year’s elections. (The security deposit amount for candidates belonging to SCs and STs is half of these figures). The general elections of 1996 saw an unprecedented large number of non serious independents, like the 470 plus from Nalgonda Parliament constituency, making the job of the Election Commission difficult by remaining in fray in constituencies across the country.
The increased security deposit was collected for the first time in 1998 General Elections wherein the number of contestants actually went down in the district. For example, from the nine and 11 contestants for the Adilabad Lok Sabha seat in the 1991 and 1996 general elections, the number went down progressively to seven in 1998 and 1999 and just four in 2004. In the present elections however, the number of contestants rose to nine that includes four independents and two others from minor parties.
This phenomenon perhaps indicates that the amount of security deposit is not a matter worth contemplating when it comes to political aspirations. Almost all the candidates paid the security deposit in cash while filing nominations which again indicates that the amount is not large enough for handling. As only a few contestants are expected to secure over a sixth of the cumulative valid votes polled in the given constituency, most of them are apparently prepared to part with the sum.
Meanwhile, the amount of money as security deposits of most of the unsuccessful candidates from Adilabad district is going to make the government richer by about Rs. 4 lakh by the time the election process ends.