Chandigarh, Jan 22: As many as 89 candidatures were withdrawn on Sunday, the last day of withdrawal of nominations, leaving 1,146 candidates in the fray for Punjab Assembly polls slated to be held on February 4. "Finally, 1,146 candidates are left in the fray for 117 Assembly seats," an official spokesperson of the Chief Electoral Office, Punjab said.
As many as 114 candidates have withdrawn their nominations. In the bypoll Amritsar Lok Sabha seat, nine candidates are left in the fray, he said. "1,941 nominations were initially received, out of which 1,260 were accepted on the last day of scrutiny. After that, 25 candidates withdrew their names, while 89 candidates withdrew their names on Sunday," the spokesperson said.
Of the three pending cases, nomination papers of two candidates, each from Dasuya and Budhlada were rejected while the papers of a candidate from Budhlada were found in order. For Amritsar Lok Sabha bypoll, out of 15 nominations received, five were rejected during scrutiny. Now, after withdrawal of a nomination, nine candidates are left in fray.
The counting of votes will take place on March 11. Punjab is set to witness three-cornered contest between SAD-BJP, Congress and new entrant AAP. Prominent among those who are in the fray are Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, his son Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal, state Congress chief Amarinder Singh, cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu and AAP MP Bhagwant Mann.
SAD has fielded candidates in 94 seats while its ally BJP has nominated candidates in remaining 23 seats. Congress is contesting alone on all seats. Aam Aadmi Party, which is contesting Punjab polls for first time, has fielded its candidates in 112 seats, while its ally Lok Insaf Party, led by Ludhiana based Bains brothers, have fielded its nominees in five seats.
Other political outfits in the fray include BSP, former AAP leader Sucha Singh Chottepur-led Apna Punjab Party, the Left comprising CPI and CPI(M), and SAD-Amritsar.