Highest vote for runner-up: Silver Lining in Meira Kumar's loss

Highest vote for runner-up: Silver Lining in Meira Kumar's loss

Highest vote for runner-up: Silver Lining in Meira Kumar's loss
Meira Kumar might have lost the Presidential polls but the joint Opposition has something to cheer as she has polled the highest votes by a losing candidate.

This is despite the cross voting in favour of Kumar's opponent and winner Ram Nath Kovind, the NDA candidate who polled 7.02 lakh votes. She polled 3.67 lakh votes out of 10.69 valid votes polled.

The Opposition had suffered a set back in the run up to the Presidential polls after Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) broke the unity within non-NDA parties to support. The JD(U) had 20,779.

Kumar has polled 34.35% votes and this is the "highest ever opposition candidate vote", a senior Opposition leader told DH.

However, a Congress spokesperson has made a blooper, saying "this is the second highest vote secured by a runner-up candidate". The figures in Election Commission's booklet on 2017 Presidential elections paints a different picture, as it shows that none of the losing candidates got more votes than Kumar.

"Also, if you look at the total result of the 15 Presidential elections, I think six other Presidents who were elected, had secured a cumulative total of the much higher number of votes, and percentages than the current election. So, it is an eye-opener for those who are arrogating only based upon numbers," Surjewala said.

The previous highest votes were secured by a runner-up was in 1967 when Kota Subbarao secured 3.63 lakh votes against Dr Zakir Hussain. Another one was in 1992 when G G Swell secured 3.46 lakh votes against Shankar Dayal Sharma. RJD MP and senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani, who had then contested had got just 2,704 votes.

In the 2012 election, President Pranab Mukherjee's opponent P A Sangma had garnered 3.15 lakh votes while the then Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, who contested in 2007 for the top post, got 3.31 lakh votes.

The highest number of candidates was in 1967 elections when 17 contested. Nine of the got not a single vote then. Similarly, in 1969, there were 14 opponents for eventual winner V V Giri but five of them did not open their account.

In the first elections, Dr Rajendra Prasad's opponent K T Shah polled 92,827 votes while Choudhary Hari Ram secured 2,672 and 6,341 votes in the 1957 and 1962 polls.

However, if one takes the percentage of votes the runner-up got, the highest was in 1967 when Subbarao polled 43.43% of votes while in 1969, Reddy polled 37.49%. Kumar polled 34.35%).
 
Runner-Ups
1952 -- K T Shah – 92,827 (15.33%)
1957 -- Chaudhary Hari Ram – 2,672 (0.05%_
1962 -- Chaudhary Hari Ram – 6,341 (1.14%)
1967 -- Kota Subbarao – 3,63,971 (43.43%)
1969 -- Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy – 3,13,548 (37.49%)
1974 -- Tridib Chaudhuri – 1,89,196 (19.81%)
1977 -- No opponents
1982 -- H R Khanna – 2,82,685 (27.26%)
1987 -- V R Krishna Iyer – 2,81,550 (27.49%)
1992 -- G G Swell – 3,46,485 (33.76%)
1997 -- T N Seshan – 50,631 (5.02%)
2002 -- Lakshmi Sahgal – 1,07,366 (10.42%)
2007 -- Bhairon Singh Shekhawat – 3,31,306 (34.17%)
2012 -- P A Sangma 3,15,987 (30.68%)

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