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|February 11, 1998|
Nearly 50 per cent candidates in Gujarat withdraw on second thoughts
They jump into the poll arena with much fanfare, but half the candidates in Gujarat retire to the pavilion even before the game begins.
Election statistics for Gujarat show that nearly 50 per cent of candidates who file their papers withdraw as quickly. Thus, of the 18,473 who decided to contest the Vidhan Sabha election in Gujarat from 1962 to 1995, as many as 8,717 withdrew on second thoughts.
In 1962, 872 candidates filed their nominations for the 154 assembly seats in the state. Of this, 349 withdrew.
In the 1967 election, when the number of seats grew to 168, aspiring legislators, too, increased to 1,078. However, 451 withdrew later.
In 1972, 1,447 candidates filed their papers. Of this, 609 changed their mind.
Similarly, of the 1,637 candidates who jumped into the 1975 fray for 162 seats, 766 had cold feet.
The number of withdrawals increased after this. Here are the details: 768 in the 1980 assembly poll (of 1,755), 1,209 in the 1988 (of 2,387), 2,364 in 1990 (of 2,364) and 2,204 in 1995 (of 4,946).
The number of candidates who filed nominations this year had, however, come down mainly because of the increase in the amount of security deposit from Rs 250 to Rs 5,000 for the Vidhan Sabha poll and to Rs 10,000 for the Lok Sabha.
This year, only 209 candidates filed nominations for the Lok Sabha and 2,067 for the state assembly polls. As many as 25 Lok Sabha candidates and 472 Vidhan Sabha contestants, however, decided against it later.
Besides this, the state election authorities rejected 45 Lok Sabha and 469 Vidhan Sabha nominations for technical reasons.
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