Puducherry: A total of 344 candidates, including 97 independents, are in the fray for the 16 May elections to the 30-member Union Territory Assembly.
The number of candidates contesting the polls has risen from 187 in 2011 to 344 this time. Out of 187 candidates last time, six were Independents. This time 344, including 97 Independents, are in the fray for the polls to the 30-member assembly. Chief Minister and founder of ruling AINRC N Rangasamy
is contesting from Indira Nagar constituency.
Other main candidates are Speaker V Sabapathy (Ariankuppam), former chief minister and Leader of the Opposition V Vaithilingam (Kamaraj Nagar), PCC leader A Namassivayam (Villianoor), AIADMK nominee P Kannan (Raj Bhavan) and former ministers belonging to Congress E Valsaraj (Mahe) and Malladi Krishna Rao (Yanam).
Twenty two candidates withdrew their nominations on Monday, the last day for doing so, leaving 344 contestants in the fray, Puducherry Chief Electoral officer V Candavelou told reporters in Puducherry.
Of them, 322 were men, 21 women and one coming under 'other gender' category, he said.
Prominent among the candidates are Chief Minister N Rangasamy, Opposition leader V Vaithilingam and P Kannan, who recently quit Congress.
The CEO said Oulgaret segment has the maximum number of 17 candidates while the Karaikal (North) has the minimum of eight candidates.
Region wise break up of candidates is as follows: Puducherry having 23 constituencies has 272 nominees while Karaikal (5) has 51 contestants and Mahe and Yanam with one constituency each have 10 and 11 contestants respectively.
The total voters strength in the Union Territory is 9,41,935.
Updated Date: May 18, 2016 17:55 PM