Rae Bareli, Apr 20 (UNI) Congress President Sonia Gandhi seeking re-election to the Lok Sabha, is likely to face as many as 20 independents during the May eight Rae Bareli bypoll.
Election Commission sources said here that a total of nine candidates including firebrand BJP leader Vinay Katiyar and eight independent candidates filed their nominations for the prestigious bypoll today.
With today being the last day of filing papers for the by-election, a total of 20 independent candidates were in fray against four candidates representing recognised political parties including Ms Gandhi, Mr Katiyar, Mr Rajkumar Chowdhary (Samajwadi Party) and Ms Prabha Singh Lodh -- shadow candidate of expelled BJP leader Uma Bharti -- who filed her papers as Apna Dal nominee, sources added.
EC sources further said that Ram Lali Verma, representing the BS4 party of Uttar Pradesh Sports Minister R K Chowdhary, also filed nominations as an independent candidate.
The independents who filed their nominations today included Mr Shiv Kumar, Mr Sanjay Kumar, Mr Raj Kumar, Mr Vasudev, Mr Mahesh Chand, Mr Ashok Pandey, Mr Bharat and Mr Deepak.
Most of the independents who filed papers today said to UNI later that they did not even dreamt of succeeding at the hustings, but only wanted to make a name of their own by contesting against the Congress president, whose victory was a mere formality.
UNI MB ARS MA BST1800