Features Saturday, June 06, 2015 - 05:30
Written by  Benita Chacko
In the last 27 years, Dr K Padmarajan from Salem in Tamil Nadu has contested elections a whopping 168 times across several Indian states. If that wasn't enough of a surprise, here's the stunner. He has lost all of them, on purpose. “If I win an election I will get a heart attack,” Padmarajan chuckles as he tells The News Minute about his rather odd endeavour. For every loss he has encountered, the feeling of joy and pride has only multiplied for him over the years. He contests elections not to win but to create a record. “I know it is impossible for me to win, but all I want is to set a record of losing the most number of elections. And to achieve this, I will fight elections for the rest of my life,” he says. It all started in 1988 when he contested the Assembly election in Mettur just to prove that even a common man can stand for an election.He also registered his first loss during this election by losing against N Sreerangan, a candidate from Communist Party of India (Marxist). Today, the self-proclaimed "Election King" from Salem has got his name in the Limca Book of Records for being the “Most Unsuccessful Candidate”. His highest vote count till date is 6,273 which he received in the Mettur constituency in 2011. In over two decades, Padmarajan has stood for elections from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka and New Delhi. On June 2, he filed his 169th nomination for the RK Nagar by-elections, where he will be contesting against Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. This will be followed by his 170th nomination for the Aruvikkara by-election in Kerala. The 56-year-old, who has received schooling till class 8, is in the business of selling tyres and is also a homeopathic doctor. But he only provides his medical services to the Sabarimala temple in Kerala. "I am currently pursuing my MA in History from an Open University in Tamil Nadu," he says. Padmarajan has had no political affiliations and has always contested independently. From the local panchayat elections to Presidential elections, he has stood up against some of the biggest names in the political circles including Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Manmohan Singh, P V Narasimha Rao, Pranab Mukherjee, Pratibha Patil, K R Narayanan and A P J Abdul Kalam. He has also contested against Jayalalithaa, M Karunanidhi, AK Anthony, SM Krishna and Jagdish Shettar. In 2014, he even filed his nomination to contest in Vadodara against Narendra Modi during the Lok Sabha elections, but it was rejected due to a "signature" issue. Though he doesn’t indulge in any form of campaigning after filing his nomination, Padmarajan says his 168 losses have cost him Rs 20 lakhs in deposit money. He even credits himself for a constitutional amendment. “In the 1996 elections I filed nominations for five Lok Sabha seats. It was because of me that the Representation of People Act, 1951, was amended to allow a candidate to contest only from two seats,” Padmarajan claims.
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