The Belgaum parliamentary constituency, where polling had to be postponed by a month in 1996 due to a record number of independent candidates, 452 and a total of 456. Shri Shivanand Hemappa Koujalgi of Janta Dal won the elections then.
The huge number of Independents was part of a political strategy planned by the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti, which has been fighting since 1956 to get the Marathi-speaking border area merged with Maharashtra, it aimed at attracting the attention of the whole nation to the controversy. Over 400 activists had entered the fray. All of them lost deposits, but polled around 25 per cent votes, upsetting political calculations as also the Election Commission, which had to print extra-long ballot papers to accommodate them.
For the 1996 general election, Nalgonda in Andhra Pradesh crossed all earlier records with 480 candidates in the fray.
After this incident the Election commission increased the security deposit and also changed some norms for nomination.