Saturday, 15 March 2014

Forfeiture of Deposit Not A Deterrent in Contesting Elections Candidates from National Parties Fare Well in Saving Their Deposits

Apart from the fact that who is winner and who is runner-up, another fact which interests people in elections is that how many contesting candidates could save their security deposits.  It is also a matter of pride for the candidates if they save their deposits, whereas forfeiture of deposit is often seen as humiliating. As per the Election Commission of India Rules, if the candidate fails to get a minimum of one-sixth of the total valid votes polled, the deposit goes to the treasury.
In First Lok Sabha Elections in 1951-52, almost 40% i.e. 745 out of 1874 candidates forfeited their deposits. Since then, almost all Lok Sabha Elections witnessed northward trend of lost deposits. Its peak came in the 11th Lok Sabha Elections in 1996, where 91 percent or 12688 out of 13952 candidates lost their deposits. This was the elections which also saw highest number of candidates contesting for Lok Sabha. In this context, last Lok Sabha Elections in 2009 turned out to be not so good for the candidates when as many as 85 percent of them lost their deposits, percentage-wise the third highest after 91% in 1996 elections and 86% in 1991 elections. It shows that forfeiture of deposit has not been a deterrent for not contesting elections.
Candidates from National parties have fared well in saving their deposits. In first General Elections in 1951-52, 28% or 344 out of 1217 candidates from national parties lost their deposits. This improved in the next elections in 1957 when only 130 out of 919 candidates or 14% candidates lost their deposits. 1977 General Elections witnessed best performance ever by national parties as only 100 out of 1060 candidates (nine percent) from these parties lost their deposits. Comparatively, 2009 General Elections did not prove out to be that good for national parties’ candidates as almost every second candidate lost their deposits. In 2009, 779 out of 1623 candidate from national parties lost their deposits. Worst ever for the national party candidates was the 11th Lok Sabha elections when 49% or 897 out of 1817 candidates lost their deposits.
Total number of contestants and number of candidates forfeiting their deposits for last fifteen General Elections is as under:-

Year
Contestants
FD
%age
National Parties
%age
Others
%age
Cont
FD
Cont
FD
1952
1874
745
40
1217
344
28
657
401
61
1957
1519
494
33
919
130
14
600
364
61
1962
1985
856
43
1269
362
29
716
494
69
1967
2369
1203
51
1342
390
29
1027
813
79
1971
2784
1707
61
1223
359
29
1561
1348
86
1977
2439
1356
56
1060
100
9
1379
1256
91
1980
4629
3417
74
1541
444
29
3088
2973
96
1984-85
5492
4382
80
1307
387
30
4185
3995
95
1989
6160
5003
81
1378
421
31
4782
4582
96
1991-92
8749
7539
86
1855
840
45
6894
6699
97
1996
13952
12688
91
1817
897
49
12135
11791
97
1998
4750
3486
73
1493
637
43
3257
2849
87
1999
4648
3400
73
1299
437
34
3349
2963
88
2004
5435
4218
78
1351
541
40
4084
3677
90
2009
8070
6829
85
1623
779
48
6447
6050
94

Source- Election Commission of India           FD- No of Contestants whose deposit was forfeited

 Forfeiture of Deposit in All Fifteen Lok Sabha Elections

Text Box: Contestants losing their deposits as percentage of total contestants

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