Independent Candidates Break Barriers in Lok Sabha 2024: Engineer Rashid Leads the Charge

Only six independent candidates are leading towards victory in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, with Engineer Rashid leading the pack against J&K National Conference leader Omar Abdullah. Despite a history of limited success for independents, this year's results showcase notable performances and potential upsets in several key constituencies.


PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 04-06-2024 17:27 IST | Created: 04-06-2024 17:27 IST
Independent Candidates Break Barriers in Lok Sabha 2024: Engineer Rashid Leads the Charge
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In a notable departure from historical trends, only six independent candidates appear headed towards victory in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, despite nearly half of the over 8,000 candidates running without party affiliation.

Among the independent hopefuls, Abdul Rashid Sheikh, known as Engineer Rashid, has garnered significant attention for his sizable lead of over 1,86,000 votes against J&K National Conference leader Omar Abdullah. His performance has positioned him as a potential giant slayer in this high-stakes election.

Another remarkable contest is taking place in Faridkot, Punjab, where Sarabjeet Singh Khalsa, son of Beant Singh, one of the two assassins of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, is leading his closest rival Karamjit Singh Anmol of the Aam Aadmi Party by a margin of over 66,000 votes.

In Punjab's Khadoor Sahib, radical Sikh preacher Amritpal Singh is maintaining a lead over Congress's Kulbir Singh Zira. Amritpal, who leads the 'Waris Punjab De' outfit, contested the elections from Assam's Dibrugarh jail under the National Security Act.

Meanwhile, in Maharashtra's Sangli, Congress rebel Vishal Prakashbapu Patil, who ran as an Independent after the Shiv Sena (UBT) fielded a candidate, is leading by over 93,000 votes. Patil is the grandson of former Maharashtra Chief Minister Vasantdada Patil.

Other independents poised for success include Mohammad Haneefa Jan from Ladakh and Patel Umeshbhai Babubhai from Daman & Diu.

Historically, the success rate for independent candidates has been dismal. In 2019, out of more than 8,000 candidates, only four emerged victorious. Data from the Election Commission of India highlights a sharp decline in successful independent candidates, dropping from over six per cent in the 1950s to around 0.11 percent in recent years.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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