Karnataka poll: Over 3,600 candidates in fray for 224 seats

Bangalore, April 20 (IANS) Over 3,600 candidates are in the fray for the May 5 Karnataka assembly elections, the state election panel chief said Saturday, the last day for withdrawal of nominations.

The exact number of candidates in the contest for 224 seats of the 225-member assembly that includes one nominated member, however, would be known Sunday as complete details of withdrawals from across the state were yet to be received, chief electoral officer Anil Kumar Jha told reporters here.

He said nominations of 3,692 candidates out of 3,945 were found valid after scrutiny on April 18. The last date for filing the papers was April 17.

The party-wise break up of candidates is: ruling Bharatiya Janata Party 223, the Congress 224, Janata Dal-Secular 222, Bahujan Samaj Party 180, Nationalist Congress Party 30, CPI-M 17 and CPI 9.

One candidate whom BJP had given ticket did not file his nomination.

The number of candidates of Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) headed by former BJP leader B.S. Yeddyurappa would also be known Sunday as it is only a registered party and not a party recognized by the Election Commission. The Commission accords recognition as national or state parties based on percentage of votes polled in state and parliamentary polls.

Yeddyurappa has fielded candidates for most of the 224 seats.

Most of the remaining candidates were either independents or belong to unrecognized parties.

Vote count is on May 8.

Jha said over 43.6 million people are eligible to vote.

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