Union Minister Praful Patel and former BJP Chief Nitin Gadkari were among prominent candidates to enter the poll fray on Saturday as filing of nominations closed for 93 Lok Sabha constituencies in 18 states, including all seats in Delhi, Haryana and Kerala.
In Uttar Pradesh, BJP fielded Hukum Singh and Bhartendu Singh, both accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots, from Kairana and Bijnor seats respectively. The party replaced Rajendra Singh with Bhartendu at the last minute in Bijnor, where RLD’s Jaya Prada is also contesting.
In Maharashtra, where nominations closed for 10 seats, NCP leader Patel filed his papers for Bhandara-Gondia sea. Gadkari filed nominations from Nagpur along with AAP leader Anjali Damania. Maharashtra Minister for Social Justice Shivajirao Moghe entered the contest from Yavatmal
Two-time Congress MP and Haryana Chief Minister’s son Deepinder Singh Hooda filed nomination from Rohtak parliamentary constituency in Haryana. Nominations closed for all 10 seats in the state and seven in Delhi.
In Kerala, over 250 nominations, including by independents, have been filed in 20 constituencies across the state.
Scrutiny will take place on March 24 and the last date for withdrawal is March 26.
Congress-led UDF and the LDF are contesting all the constituencies.
Fledgling Aam Admi Party (AAP) has also fielded candidates in most seats including noted writer Sarah Joseph in Thrissur, journalist Anita Pratap in Ernakulam and former IPS officer Ajit Joy in Thiruvananthapuram.
Among the Congress candidates in the fray are five Union Ministers– Shashi Tharoor (Thiruvananthapuram), K V Thomas (Ernakulam), Mullapally Ramachandran (Vatakara), Kodikunnil Suresh (Mavelikkara) and K C Venugopoal (Alappuzha).
Other key Congress nominees are P C Chacko (Chalakkudi), State Youth Congress president Dean Kuriakose (Idukki) and Mahila Congress leader Bindhu Krishna (Attingal)
SJD leader and former Union minister M P Veerendrakumar is contesting from Palakkad as the UDF nominee.
E Ahamed, Union Minister, and IUML leader is seeking his sixth bid to Parliament from the party bastion Malappuram.
Prominent CPI(M) contestants include party’s polit bureau member M A Baby (Kollam) and sitting MPs P Karunakaran (Kasargod), M B Rajesh (Palakkad), P K Biju (Alathur) and A Sampath (Attingal).
Independents roped in by the LDF include veteran cine actor and humourist Innoncent (Chalakkudi) and former IAS officer Christie Fernandes .
Four candidates were in the fray in Mizoram’s lone Lok Sabha seat which will go to polls on April nine.
Robert Romawia Royte of the United Democratic Front (UDF), eight-party opposition alliance, and an independent nominee Vanlalngaia filed nominations today. Ruling Congress nominee C.L. Ruala and candidate of the ‘Aam Aadmi Party’ M. Lalmanzuala had filed their nominations of Thursday last.
In Arunachal Pradesh, violence erupted on the last day of nomination filing when supporters of a candidate vandalised the district electoral office at Koloriang, the headquarters of remote Kurung Kumey district. Police fired seven rounds in air to disperse the mob but no one was hurt.
Bhojpuri actor-singer Manoj Tiwari filed nomination from North East Delhi constituency as BJP candidate.
Former Congress leader and senior Supreme Court lawyer R K Anand filed his papers from Faridabad in Haryana.
Jammu and Kashmir BJP chief Jugal Kishore Sharma entered the fray for Jammu Parliamentary constituency.
Nominations today ended for one out of six seats in Jammu and Kashmir, six out of 40 seats in Bihar, one out of 11 seats in Chhattisgarh, five out of 14 seats in Jharkhand, nine out of 29 seats in Madhya Pradesh, 10 out of 48 seats in Maharashtra, 10 out of 21 seats in Odisha, 10 out of 80 seats in UP and one seat each in UTs of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshdweep and Chandigarh.
Elections in these states, along with Haryana, Delhi and Kerala, will take place on April 10.
Nominations also ended for one out of two seats in Manipur, two seats each in Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh and one seat each in Mizoram and Nagaland. Election in these seats will be held on April 9.
In Assam, nominations of two AAP candidates were rejected today during scrutiny of papers of 54 contenders for the first phase of Lok Sabha elections on April seven in five parliamentary constituencies in the state.
The constituencies going to polls on April 7 are Tezpur, where 11 candidates had filed their nominations, Kaliabor with 13 candidates, Jorhat and Dibrugarh with 8 each and Lakhimpur with 14 aspirants. The state has 14 seats.
The nomination of Diten Saikia of AAP for Tezpur seat has been cancelled due to incomplete form. 10 candidates now remain in the contest. In Dibrugarh, the candidature of Aam Aadmi Party’s Tapan Sutbanshi was also rejected. The last date for withdrawal of nominations is on March 24.
Among the prominent candidates who have filed their nominations include the two Union ministers from the state — Paban Singh Ghatowar from Dibrugarh and Ranee Narah from Lakhimpur seats.
Controversial former Congress MP Moni Kumar Subba also filed his papers as an independent from Tezpur after being rejected a ticket by the party.
Meanwhile, Union minister Girija Vyas and Ijyraj Singh were among 17 candidates who today filed their nomination papers in Rajasthan for Lok Sabha elections slated for April 17 (5th phase) and 24 (6th phase). Aam Admi Party’s K K Saran filed nomination from Churu.
33 canodates have entered the fray in the state which has 25 seats.
In West Bengal, 11 nominations have so far filed for April 17 poll in seats seats.