New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has labelled them "spoilers" with no chance of victory, but the independent candidates running in Indian elections are only encouraged by his derision. A dancer, an auto-rickshaw driver and a magician are among the more than 3,000 independents hoping to put a dent in the fortunes of established political parties in the month-long polls.
Some choose to go it alone after being denied a party ticket but others, such as acclaimed dancer Mallika Sarabhai, said they are bound by principle. Sarabhai, who is taking on L K Advani, the leader of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in the western city of Gandhinagar, said she has been declining advances from the ruling Congress party for 25 years.
Image: Renowned classical dancer and independent candidate from Gandhinagar Mallika Sarabhai at an election campaign in Ahmedabad.Text: AFP
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