2009 was a fairly unremarkable year in terms of the number of candidates that stood for elections. Chennai South fielded 43 candidates, and like in 2004, had the highest number of candidates.
The 2004, 1999, and 1998 elections were no more remarkable. However, 1996 (below) was quite the exception. There were two constituencies, Nalgonda (Andhra Pradesh) and Belgaum (Karnataka) that had over 450 candidates each contesting in the elections.
Many of these candidates fewer than 100 votes. However, all of them received at least a dozen votes. (The lowest was for Patil Nagendra Irappa, who received only 12 votes at Belgaum.)
However, all of these pale in comparison with the 1996 assembly elections in Tamil Nadu. There were 1,033 candidates that contested in the 1996 assembly elections at Modakkurichi in Tamil Nadu.
Here is a peek at the candidate list:
These are just a few of the 64 candidates named Palanisamy that stood for elections.
While you may note that many of these candidates received only 1 vote, it is even more remarkable that 88 candidates received zero votes – that is, they forgot to even vote for themselves.
India’s election history is littered with nuggets, but few are as likely to be as strange as a ballot book filled with over 1,000 names, of whom 88 forgot to vote for themselves!