Lok Sabha poll 2014: 435 candidates in fray in Karnataka

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Bangalore, March 19: A total of 435 candidates are in the fray for the April 17 Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka which would witness a three-horse race, the principal fight being between ruling Congress and BJP.

Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda led JDS faced embarrassing moment on the last day for withdrawl today, as its candidate Shivanand Nayak pulled out race citing financial constraints.

"There were 544 valid nominated candidates of which 109 candidates have withdrawn from all 28 constituencies. Now the total number of contesting candidates is 435," Chief Electoral Officer Anil Kumar Jha told reporters here. Of 435 contesting candidates, 23 are women, he said. He said Bangalore Central with 26 candidates has the highest number of contestants and Gulbarga with eight the least number of candidates. Uttara Kannada has nine candidates.

He said JDS candidate Shivanand Nayak has withdrawn from Uttara Kannada, Purushottam Nayak (KJP) from Chitradurga and Imtiaz Ahmed (JDU) from Tumkur. The Congress is hoping to replicate its Assembly performance and maximise gains.

In the last Lok Sabha polls, it had won six seats as against the then ruling BJP's 19. JDS had won three. BJP is also going the whole hog to repeat its 2009 Lok Sabha performance, banking heavily on "Modi wave". Giving account of seizures made, Jha said, "Today afternoon we have seized Rs 50 lakh in Koppal town, Rs 3.4 lakh in Hassan and Rs 1.75 lakh in Dharwad," adding that Rs 50 lakh was the one-time highest seizure so far.

He said 1,000 sarees have been seized in Bellary district that valued up to Rs 6 lakh and another box of sarees in Hiriyur taluk. Jha said 150 litres of liquor had been seized from Bagalkote and 78 litres in Bellary district. FIR has been filed in both cases. He said total liquor seized so far is 35,125 litres, which values up to Rs 1.4 crore and total cash seized is about Rs 3.35 crore. Pointing that total number of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) violations cases booked so far from all across the state is 628, Jha said maximum is from Belgaum with 124.

PTI

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