1146 in fray for Punjab assembly polls

Chandigarh, Jan 21 (IANS) A total of 1146 candidates are in the fray after 114 candidates withdrew their nomination papers for the February 4 assembly elections in Punjab on Saturday.

A spokesman of the Election Department said that nine candidates were left in the fray for the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat by-election after withdrawal of nominations.

Some 15 candidates had filed their nominations for the parliamentary by-poll. Five papers were rejected on Thursday while one candidate withdrew the nomination papers on Saturday.

A record 1941 candidates had filed their nomination papers for 117 assembly seats till January 18, the last date for filing of nominations, 1,040 nomination papers were filed on the last day itself.

The nomination papers of 695 candidates were rejected on various grounds, officials said.

The main contest was between the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) combine, which has been in power in Punjab since 2007, the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) this time.