Staff Reporter

THENI: After scrutiny, 15 candidates, including four candidates representing political parties, are in the fray for the by-poll for Cumbum constituency as of Saturday, the last day for withdrawing nominations.

The candidates are N. Ramakrishnan of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, M. Sasikumar of Bharatiya Janata Party, K. Rajappan of Communists Party of India (Marxists), R. Arun Kumar of Desiya Murpokku Dravidar Kazhagam and G. Ramaraj of Uzhaippali Makkal Katchi, and Independents K. Guruveshwari, A. Satheesh, K. Shivakumar M. Subash Babu, R. Nagamani Senthil, K. Naser, C. Periya Otchu, K.S.N. Mani, S. Rajendran and G. Venkatesan. One independent M. Chandran withdrew his nominations.

Initially, 22 candidates had filed their nominations. Six nominations were rejected by election officials on technical grounds.

In the absence of AIADMK, MDMK and PMK, major political parties which boycotted the by-poll, other political parties have intensified the election campaign in the constituency. Leaders of all political parties have planned to campaign in the next two weeks. Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin will be the first State-level leader to start his campaign in Cumbum on August 6. Desiya Murpokku Dravidar Kazhagam party leader Vijay Kant has planned to tour the constituency to spearhead the campaign for his candidate Arun Kumar on August 9 and 10. Other DMK leaders will campaign between August 13 and 16 for Mr. Ramakrishnan.