Nashik: A Lok Sabha candidate from Nashik in Maharashtra left officials speechless when he paid his security deposit of Rs 12,500 in one, two, five and 10 rupee coins.

Pramod Natekar, who heads the small Bahujan Swarajya Mahasangh party, deposited the money, weighing a few kilograms, in plastic bags on Saturday.

There were 2,500 coins of Re 1 (Rs.2,500); 2,500 coins of R2 (Rs.5,000); 908 coins of Rs 5 (Rs 4,540) and 46 coins of Rs.10 (Rs 460) — totalling Rs 12,500.

Candidates have to pay Rs 25,000 as security deposit while filing nominations. The amount is 50 per cent for those fighting in seats reserved for Dalits and tribals.

It took the Election Commission officials three hours to count the deposit money.

“There is no rule which says that small change can’t be given as security deposit,” an aide to Natekar said. The deposit money is forfeited if the candidate does not get a minimum number of votes.

Natekar is a street vendor, selling odd items, and the security money was collected from other vendors and pavement dwellers, his aide said, adding he (Natekar) did not do so on purpose as the coins came from the people by way of donations.

In the process, a couple of other candidates were forced to wait for a long time to file their nominations — because officials took a long time counting the mountain of coins.    

The total number of coins deposited as security deposit