India elections: Rise in number of small parties based on specific causes

Some represent certain castes; they all offer voters more options

An man leaves after casting his vote during the sixth phase of the Indian parliamentary election in New Delhi, India, on May 12, 2019.
An man leaves after casting his vote during the sixth phase of the Indian parliamentary election in New Delhi, India, on May 12, 2019. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Indian farmer Jang Bahadur Bind, who is contesting this year's elections, knows his chances of winning are slim in the constituency of Chandauli in Uttar Pradesh state.

Mr Bind represents a small and little-known party called Bharatiya Manav Samaj Party (Indian Commonwealth of Mankind Party), which was set up last year. It is contesting just three seats in the central state of Uttar Pradesh and neighbouring Madhya Pradesh.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 17, 2019, with the headline 'Rise in number of small parties based on specific causes'. Subscribe