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20 things you may not know about Elections 2009

May 27, 2009 20:59 IST

Bachelor's Going Single strategy

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Call it the Rahul Gandhi effect. Out of the 107 constituencies he campaigned, the Congress has won 75. Moreover, eight of his 10 handpicked candidates romped home emphatically. That is a unique record which no one can ignore.

No wonder, he is media's latest posterboy. The country's most eligible bachelor's decision to go it alone in the politically significant Uttar Pradesh was a masterstroke. Ekala Chalo, Mr Rahul.


Image: When will the Prince take the crown? That is the inevitable question now in Congress circles.
Photographs: Reuters
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Money? For what?

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Meenakshi Natarajan has done what no one has done before. The 36-year-old Congress MP from Mandsaur has returned the unspent money during her electioneering to the party.  A Tamil Brahmin, Meenakshi was born and brought up in Madhya Pradesh. 


Image: Meenakshi's favourite films are Mother India, Yuva and Rang de Basanti.
Photographs: Reuters
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What Women Wanted

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The number of women MPs in the Lok Sabha has gone up to a record 59 -- the first time the 10 percent mark has been crossed. In 2004, the number was 45.

Image: Supriya Sule, daughter of Sharad Pawar, has won from Baramati.
Photographs: Sanjay Sawant
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The oldest and youngest

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The oldest MP is 89-year-old Ram Sundar Das, who trounced Ram Vilas Paswan at the Hajipur constituency. At 26, Mohammad Hamdullah Sayeed is the youngest MP. Hamdulla won from Lakshadweep.
   

Image: Mohammad Hamdullah Sayeed
Photographs: Domal Kamraju
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Crorepati MPs

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More than 300 MPs have assets worth over a crore in the new Lok Sabha. If the Congress has 137 crorepatis, the BJP has 58. The richest MP is Telugu Desam Party's Namma Nageshwara Rao from Andhra Pradesh.  He is worth Rs 173 crore.

The combined assets of Indian MPs stand at Rs 3,075 crore. That is in a country where 28 crore people live below the poverty line.

The poorest MP is Congress' Chandrahas Mahant, who won from Korba in Chhattisgarh. He has to his credit just Rs 12,000.  


Image: Nageshwara Rao

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Crime and no punishment

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The number of MPs with criminal antecedents has gone up to 153 -- another record. The Bharatiya Janata Party tops the list of criminal candidates with 42. The Congress is a close second with 41. Among the states, Uttar Pradesh tops the list with 31 of which 22 face serious charges. Maharashtra is second with 23.

 

Jailed RJD MP Mohammad Shahabuddin's wife, Heena Saheb, lost in Siwan to Om Prakash Yadav, an Independent, while Pappu Yadav's mother Shanti Priya, who fought from Purnia seat as an Independent with the Congress support, lost to Uday Singh of the BJP.


Image: For Shahabuddin, it is a big setback.
Photographs: Saab Pictures
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On the Write Track

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There is only one illiterate MP in the new Lok Sabha -- Pakodilal from Robertsganj in Uttar Pradesh. For the record, there are 130 postgraduate MPs and 23 MPs with doctoral degrees. The number of graduates is 237 while 47 have completed higher-secondary education. 

Image: Biju, MP from Alathur in Kerala, is a doctoral student in chemistry at MG university in Kottayam.

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Nothing to Credit About

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Most MPs may be affluent, but that does not mean they are without laibilities. There are 300 MPs with liabilities. The man with the maximum liability is from Andhra Pradesh: Congeress' L Rajagopal with Rs 8 crore.

Image: There are 300 MPs with liabilities.
Photographs: Sanjay Sawant
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On the decline

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Muslims may have voted en bloc for the Congress, but their community representation in the Lok Sabha has gone down. There are only 29 Muslim MPs now. In 2004, the number stood at 35.

Some states -- Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Orissa -- have not elected a single Muslim MP though the community has a sizeable chunk of their population. Interestingly, among the 59 women members in the  Lok Sabha, there are three Muslims: Mausam Noor, Tabassum Begum and Kaisar Jahan.


Image: Muslims appear to have voted for the Congress across the country.
Photographs: Reuters
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Flying Low

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The number of Independents has shot up to 9 from 5 in 2004. But high-profile candidates such as banker Meera Sanyal in Mumbai and Captain Gopinath in Bangalore bit the dust.

Image: Meera Sanyal and Captain Gopinath
Photographs: Reuters/Uttam Ghosh
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Fan following

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Manicka Tagore, who defeated the fiery Vaiko at his den in Virudhunagar in Tamil Nadu, is a self-confessed Rajnikanth fan. A cricket follower, he also loves listening to AR Rahman.

Image: Actor Rajnikanth and composer AR Rahman
Photographs: Sreeram Selvaraj & Rajesh Kerkera
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Hammered and tattered

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The Communist Party of India (CPI) has only 4 MPs in the new Lok Sabha. Reports indicate that it may lose the national party status. The party lost all four seats it contested in Kerala.  The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has just 16 MPs now -- its lowest ever tally.


Image: A B Bardhan at a crowded press conference.
Photographs: Saab Pictures
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Track Record

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The Chennai South constituency had the largest number 43 -- of candidates in the fray. With just three candidates, Nagaland constituency had the fewest.  


Image: A view of the IT highway in Chennai
Photographs: Sreeram Selvaraj
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Gandhi March

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Interestingly, there are four members of the Gandhi family this time in the Lok Sabha. They are Sonia, Rahul, Varun and Maneka.

Image: It is all in the family.
Photographs: Reuters
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V for power

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As many as 369 parties -- including seven national parties -- contested the Lok Sabha polls 2009, but only 37 parties could open their account. The Bharatiya Janata Party's voteshare dropped from 22.2 per cent to 17.5 while the Congress rose from 12 to 28.6 per cent.  

Image: At the voting booth at least, common man is the king.
Photographs: Reuters
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From Guinness to Ghav!

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Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party, which had four MPs in 2004, failed to open the account this time. Even Paswan lost in Hajipur. It was the same constituency where the Dalit leader entered the Guinness Book of Records after winning by a record margin -- 424,000 votes. Later, the late PV Narasimha Rao broke the record.

After the loss, a dejected Paswan said, "Had people voted for development, I would not have lost."    


Image: Saab Pictures

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Tharoor's Clean-up Act

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Shashi Tharoor, the Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, did something unique when he removed all posters from the city walls the day before results were announced. For Tharoor, the clean-up has just begun! 


Image: Shashi Tharoor takes a break during the campaigning.
Photographs: Jay Mandal
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A flick-er of hope

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For the Congress, former India captain Azharuddin's poll victory was like a rare series win abroad. The last time the Congress won in the Moradabad constituency in Uttar Pradesh was in 1984.  Azharuddin wrested the seat -- a constituency where there are 45 per cent Muslims -- back for the Congress after 24 years.   

Other cricketers who made the cut: Navjyot Singh Siddhu from Amritsar and Kirti Azad from Darbhanga in Bihar. 


Image: For Azharuddin, it is the beginning of a new innings
Photographs: Saab Pictures
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Anti-incumbency? What is that?

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For many politicians, the word anti-incumbency gives nightmares. But this time, the three states that went to polls-- Sikkim, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh -- have ducked the trend.

Of all the victories, Pawan Kumar Chamling's victory stands out -- his Sikkim Democratic Front won all the 32 seats, leaving the Congress with a ignominious zero.

In Andhra Pradesh, Y S Rajasekhara Reddy won for the second term, trouncing the Telugu Desam Party, Telengana Rashtra Samithi and Chiranjeevi's Praja Rajyam Party. The Congress bagged 157 of the 294 seats.

In Orissa, it was Biju Janata Dal's Naveen Patnaik -- his third successive term-- all the way. The BJD won 103 of the 147 seats. 


Image: The victorious chief ministers

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Another Thackeray rises

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The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena had a staggering 21 per cent voteshare in Mumbai, where the Raj Thackeray-led party came under ridicule by the media during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack. In Maharashtra, it had a voteshare of 4.2. Beyond doubt, the MNS ate into the Shiv Sena votebank and helped the Congress win many seats in Mumbai.

As Raj Thackery said, "Our target is the Assembly polls." 

Meanwhile, miles away another party and leader -- who boasted of miracle victories -- came a cropper when the results were out.  Actor Chiranjeevi's Praja Rajyam Party drew a blank in the Lok Sabha polls and bagged just 18 seats in the Assembly polls in Andhra Pradesh.  


Image: Chiranjeevi and Raj Thackeray
Photographs: Radeep Bandekar
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