Praful Patel, Nitin Gadkari file papers
Union Minister Praful Patel and former BJP Chief Nitin Gadkari were among prominent candidates to enter the poll fray on Saturday as filing of nominations closed for 93 Lok Sabha constituencies in 18 States, including all seats in Delhi, Haryana and Kerala.
In Uttar Pradesh, BJP fielded Hukum Singh and Bhartendu Singh, both accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots, from Kairana and Bijnor seats respectively. The party replaced Rajendra Singh with Bhartendu at the last minute in Bijnor, where RLD’s Jaya Prada is also contesting.
In Maharashtra, where nominations closed for 10 seats, NCP leader Patel filed his papers for Bhandara-Gondia sea.
Mr. Gadkari filed nominations from Nagpur along with AAP leader Anjali Damania. Maharashtra Minister for Social Justice Shivajirao Moghe entered the contest from Yavatmal
Two-time Congress MP and Haryana Chief Minister’s son Deepinder Singh Hooda filed nomination from Rohtak parliamentary constituency in Haryana. Nominations closed for all 10 seats in the State and seven in Delhi.
In Kerala, over 250 nominations, including by independents, have been filed in 20 constituencies across the State.
Scrutiny will take place on March 24 and the last date for withdrawal is March 26.
Congress-led UDF and the LDF are contesting all the constituencies.
Fledgling Aam Admi Party (AAP) has also fielded candidates in most seats including noted writer Sarah Joseph in Thrissur, journalist Anita Pratap in Ernakulam and former IPS officer Ajit Joy in Thiruvananthapuram.
Among the Congress candidates in the fray are five Union Ministers — Shashi Tharoor (Thiruvananthapuram), K.V. Thomas (Ernakulam), Mullapally Ramachandran (Vatakara), Kodikunnil Suresh (Mavelikkara) and K C Venugopoal (Alappuzha).
Other key Congress nominees are P.C. Chacko (Chalakkudi), State Youth Congress president Dean Kuriakose (Idukki) and Mahila Congress leader Bindhu Krishna (Attingal)
SJD leader and former Union minister M.P. Veerendrakumar is contesting from Palakkad as the UDF nominee.
E. Ahamed, Union Minister, and IUML leader is seeking his sixth bid to Parliament from the party bastion Malappuram.
Prominent CPI(M) contestants include party’s polit bureau member M.A. Baby (Kollam) and sitting MPs P. Karunakaran (Kasargod), M.B. Rajesh (Palakkad), P.K. Biju (Alathur) and A. Sampath (Attingal).
Independents roped in by the LDF include veteran cine actor and humorist Innocent (Chalakkudi) and former IAS officer Christie Fernandes.
Four candidates were in the fray in Mizoram’s lone Lok Sabha seat which will go to polls on April nine.
Robert Romawia Royte of the United Democratic Front (UDF), eight-party opposition alliance, and an independent nominee Vanlalngaia filed nominations today. Ruling Congress nominee C.L. Ruala and candidate of the ‘Aam Aadmi Party’ M. Lalmanzuala had filed their nominations of Thursday last.
In Arunachal Pradesh, violence erupted on the last day of nomination filing when supporters of a candidate vandalised the district electoral office at Koloriang, the headquarters of remote Kurung Kumey district. Police fired seven rounds in air to disperse the mob but no one was hurt.