After 33 withdrawals, 241 candidates in fray in first phase of elections in Karnataka
There were no withdrawals from Bengaluru North, one withdrawal in Bengaluru South and two in Bengaluru Central and Bengaluru Rural
Bengaluru: A total of 241 candidates are in the fray in Karnataka's 14 Lok Sabha constituencies that will go to polls in the first phase on April 18, poll officials said late Friday night.
A total of 33 candidates withdrew their nomination papers on the last day on Friday.
At 31, the Bengaluru North Lok Sabha constituency has the maximum candidates while Hassan has the least at six followed by 10 in Chamarajnagar, 12 in Udupi-Chikkmagalur and 13 in Dakshina Kannada constituencies.
Maximum withdrawals were witnessed in Kolar (6), whereas in Chitradurga, Mandya and Tumkur, four candidates each withdrew on the last date.
However, Bengaluru South and Dakshina Kannada did not have any withdrawals whereas Bengaluru North and Hassan saw one withdrawal each and it was 2 each in Bengaluru Central, Bengaluru Rural, Chamarajnagar, Chikkaballapur and Udupi-Chikkamagalur constituencies.
Prominent among those in the race in the first phase include former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda (Tumkur) and his grandsons Prajwal Revanna and Nikhil Kumaraswamy from Hassan and Mandya respectively.
Also in the fray are Union Minister Sadananda Gowda (Bengaluru North), senior Congress leaders Veerappa Moily (Chikkaballapura), B K Hariprasad (Bengaluru South) and Karnataka Rural Development Minister Krishna Byre Gowda (Bengaluru North).
In a big relief to Deve Gowda, rebel candidate and sitting Congress MP from Tumkur S P Muddahanumegowda Friday pulled out of the contest.
"Angry" at being denied the ticket, Muddahanumegowda had filed his papers both as party candidate and as an independent but finally yielded to persuasion from the party leadership.
K N Rajanna, another Congress leader and former MLA who had filed his nomination from Tumkur as an independent candidate, upset over his party's decision to cede the seat to JD(S), too withdrew his nomination.
Karnataka will go to polls in two phases, 14 constituencies each, on April 18 and 23.
Meanwhile, 17 candidates filed 20 nominations on Friday for the second phase of polling on April 23, poll officials said.
Cumulative number of 40 nominations have been filed by 32 candidates so far in the second phase.
For the second phase polls on April 23, the last date for filing nomination is April 4. Scrutiny will take place on April 5 and the last day for withdrawal is April 8.
Counting of votes and announcement of results for both phases is scheduled for May 23.