(Image source from: www.thenewsminute.com)
More than 1,800 candidates remained in the battle for the next month's Assembly elections in Telangana as the deadline to withdraw nominations ended Thursday, officials said.
A total of 1,824 candidates in 119 constituencies will test their political fortunes in December 7 polls.
Many rebels withdrew their nominations on the last day as the major parties succeeded in their efforts and several independents too withdrew their names. This remarkably brought down the total number of contestants.
As the last day of retreating nominations concluded on Thursday, as many as 367 out of 2,653 candidates withdrew their nominations for the approaching Telangana elections.
Many of the candidates who withdrew their nominations were rebel candidates from Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, who were not given party tickets to contest the elections.
However, 13 candidates - seven candidates from Congress led Mahakutami alliance and six from Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) - did not withdraw their nominations.
The TPCC Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee) and TRS both in the last 48 hours had made efforts to pacify the rebel candidates.
A total of 3,584 candidates had filed their papers when the deadline to file nominations ended on Monday. Nominations of about 500 candidates were rejected during scrutiny on Tuesday.
Elections to 119-member Assembly are scheduled to be held in a single phase while counting would happen on December 11.
The Assembly was dissolved on September 6, eight months before its term was to expire, as the ruling TRS opted for early elections.
TRS is contesting all seats on its own while Congress is leading 'Mahakutami' or grand alliance of opposition, which also includes Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) and Communist Party of India (CPI).
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is also going it alone in the polls.
According to Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar, the total number of voters in the state is 2,80,64,680 including 7,46,077 new voters.
In the meantime, Chief Election Commissioner O. P Rawat along with two election commissioners and some other senior officials reached Hyderabad Thursday evening to review the poll arrangements.
The poll panel team will hold meetings with district election officers, superintendents of police and other senior officials to review the arrangements. On Friday, it will as well meet representatives of political parties.