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By-election notification issued, Uma's candidate files papers

Written by: Staff
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Rae Bareli, Apr 13 (UNI) The Election Commission today issued notification for the May 8 bypoll to the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat, vacated by Congress President Sonia Gandhi in the heat of the office of profit controversy.

The only candidate to file nomination on the first day was Prabha Singh Lodh as an Apna Dal candidate. Ms Lodh has the backing of expelled BJP leader Uma Bharti.

Ms Gandhi is expected to file her nomination papers on Monday to contest for the second time from this seat.

The ruling Samajwadi Party today said it will field Raj Kumar Choudhury, son-in-law of senior party leader and former Union Minister Beni Prasad Verma, to take on Ms Gandhi.

Filing of nominations for the by-election will close on April 20, while scrutiny takes place on April 21. The last date for withdrawal of nominations is April 24 while the counting of votes would be taken up on May 11, alongside the ballots for four Assemblies and the UT of Pondicherry.

BSP national president and former UP chief Minister Mayawati has decided against fielding anyone against Ms Gandhi. ''The presence of Ms Gandhi in Lok Sabha would weaken the BJP...her re-election woud maintain balance of power between BJP and Congress which would ultimately help the BSP,'' she said.

The Election Commission (EC) is likely to increase the number of polling booths in the Rae Bareli constituency by 1500. The new booths would be an addition to the 1279 booths already present.

The new booths would ensure that there are not more than 1400 voters per booth.

UNI MB/NAB ARS RP DS1546

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