Election officials rejected seven nomination papers filed for the Belagavi City Corporation elections, citing non submission of documents and other technical reasons.
Some candidates withdrew their nomination papers on Wednesday. Now, there are 468 candidates in the hustings for the 58 wards. The number is expected to reduce further as Thursday is the last day for withdrawals.
As many as 519 had filed their nomination papers. Ward No 4 has 21 candidates, the highest. Before withdrawals, it had 24. There are only two candidates each in Ward No 21 and 26.
The polls promise to be interesting because this is the first time that they are being held on the basis of party nominations. This has led to senior leaders of various parties campaigning for their followers in a simple, door-to-door manner.
Dhananjay Patil, writer and political observer, says that the issue of language affiliation has not faded away, despite the distribution of ticket on party lines.
Half the city, especially the Old City areas, is still dominated by Marathi speakers, who will tend to prefer Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) candidates. The new Belagavi area, with extension areas on Gokak Road, Kanabaragi Road and Bauxite Road may be influenced by the party affiliation more than the Old City areas, he says.
Finally, the personality of the candidate may matter to the voter. A candidate has to meet between 3,000 and 4,000 voters. They can easily be covered by individual candidates within a week. The possibility of the voters knowing the candidate is also high in such elections, Mr. Patil says.
MES, a major player in the politics of the city corporation, won 60% of seats in the last corporation council. With delimitation, wards have increased by about 40%, with older, bigger wards being divided into two or three new wards. Voting is on September 3 and counting the next day.