India polls: Dummy candidates an age-old trick to fool voters into making wrong choice
Published on May 2, 2014 12:04 PM
NEW DELHI (AFP) - Indian politician Chandulal Sahu, standing for the second time for a seat in Parliament, was irritated but not surprised when he saw he was running against seven competitors who share his name.
Popular Bollywood actor Hema Malini, contesting in the holy city of Mathura, is up against two other Hema Malinis while veteran politician Amarinder Singh faces a similarly confusing challenge in northern Punjab.
Even Mr Narendra Modi, the election frontrunner for the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), briefly faced a threat from a namesake in his constituency in the western state of Gujarat.
Far from a coincidence, these "dummy" candidates are an age-old trick in Indian politics designed to fool voters who might mistakenly select the wrong person once inside the polling booth.
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