7,666 candidates file nomination for Maha Assembly polls

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Mumbai, Sep 28: As many as 7,666 candidates have filed their nominations for the October 15 Maharashtra Assembly polls, which is set to witness a five-cornered contest in all the 288 constituencies.

The nomination process ended yesterday with 7,666 candidates filing their papers, state electoral office said today. The highest 91 nominations have been filed from Nanded-South constituency while the lowest nine each have been filed at Guhagar (in Ratnagiri), Mahim (Mumbai) and Kudal (Sindhudurg) seats.

Congress campaign committee chief Narayan Rane is contesting from Kudal. On the last day of filing of nominations yesterday, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Home Minister R R Patil filed their papers.

Chavan, who resigned as Chief Minister after NCP pulled out of the government, filed nomination from Karad South amidst rousing welcome from supporters.

This will be Chavan's first electoral battle after he lost the 1999 Lok Sabha elections from Karad, which he represented thrice. MNS chief Raj Thackeray, who had declared at a rally a few months ago that he would enter the electoral battle by contesting the polls, will not contest.

The Congress has fielded candidates for all the 288 seats, while the NCP's 286 candidates will be in the fray. BJP has fielded candidates in 257 seats, state party spokesperson Keshav Upadhye had said yesterday.

"The remaining 31 seats have been given to our allies," he had said. Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, whose name was being pitched by his party as the Chief Ministerial candidate, is also not contesting.

The Sena declared a list of 286 candidates. The two constituencies where the party has not fielded candidates are Parli, where Gopinath Munde's daughter Pankaja is BJP nominee, and Byculla, where Arun Gawli's daughter Geeta is nominee.

The scrutiny will take place on September 29 and last date of withdrawing the nominations is September 30.

PTI

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