Nine more independent candidates filed their nomination papers for the Avanigadda Assembly constituency by-election on the last day of filing the nominations on Saturday.

In all, 17 contestants, including two from the Telugu Desam Party, are now in the fray.

The nine candidates who filed their nomination papers were G. Venkamma, P. Chinababu, G. Rajani Kumar, M. Subrahmanyam, B. Srinu Babu, G. Nacharamma, S. Raju, K. Suseela, and Guntur-based R. Subrahmanyam.

Despite the unprecedented number of candidates eying the seat, the election officials will announce the final list of eligible candidates on August 5.

VGTMUDA Secretary and Returning Officer G. Ravi told newsmen that the candidates would be allowed to withdraw the nominations before August 7 and the election was scheduled to be held on August 21, if necessary. The demise of former Avanigadda MLA Ambati Brahmanaiah led to holding of the by-election. The Congress and the YSR Congress parties voluntarily opted out of the contest.