Political heavyweights including Union ministers Nitin Gadkari, V K Singh, former chief ministers Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Harish Rawat and Jitan Ram Manjhi filed their nominations on Monday, the last day for submitting the papers for the first phase of Lok Sabha polls on April 11.
Among other prominent leaders who filed their papers Monday are former prime minister H D Deve Gowda (Tumkur, Karnataka), BJP’s Hema Malini (Mathura, Uttar Pradesh) and National Conference president Farooq Abdullah (Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir). The three constituencies vote in the second phase on April 18. The last day for filing nominations is Tuesday.
During the first phase of the seven-phase elections, polling will be held in 91 constituencies spread across 20 states. Scrutiny of nomination papers will take place on Tuesday, while March 28 is the last date of withdrawal of candidature.
Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari filed his nomination for the Nagpur Lok Sabha seat. Gadkari, who had defeated Vilas Muttemwar (Congress) in the 2014 elections by a margin of 2.84 lakh votes, said he will win with a bigger margin this time.
“People have a good opinion of the work done by the Narendra Modi-led government in the last five years,” he told reporters in Nagpur.
Shiv Sena’s Krupal Tumane, sitting MP from Ramtek (SC), also filed his nomination for reelection. Nana Patole of the Congress also filed his papers.
In Jammu and Kashmir, NC president Abdullah filed papers from the Srinagar seat which is going to polls in the second phase on April 18. Abdullah, who is seeking reelection from the constituency, was accompanied by his son and party vice-president Omar Abdullah.
Speaking to reporters after filing his papers, the 83-year-old vowed to fight “communal forces” in the country. “I am still young and have to do a lot of work. We have to save our country from communal forces.”
Meanwhile, journalist-turned-politician Khalid Jehangir also filed his papers as a BJP candidate.
In Telangana, nearly 700 nominations were filed Monday for the first phase. State Congress chief N Uttam Kumar Reddy (Nalgonda), AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi (Hyderabad), former union minister Renuka Choudhary (Khammam), TRS MP and daughter of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, K Kavitha (Nizamabad) were among the prominent candidates who filed their papers.
As many as 123 candidates filed their nominations for the first phase of Lok Saha polls in Uttar Pradesh on Monday, taking the total number to 146, EC officials said in Lucknow.
In neighbouring Uttarakhand, five Congress candidates, three BJP’s and one from the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party filed their papers for the five Lok Sabha seats going to polls on April 11.
BJP leaders, who filed their nominations included former chief minister and sitting MP Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank from Haridwar, state party president Ajay Bhatt from Nainital and sitting MP Ajay Tamta from Almora (reserved seat).
All Congress candidates in the state also filed nominations Monday, including former chief minister Harish Rawat (Nainital).
In Bihar, former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi, LJP leader Chirag Paswan, RLSP Bihar president Bhudeo Choudhary were among 60 candidates who filed their papers on Monday
Election to the four Lok Sabha seats Aurangabad, Jamui, Gaya and Nawada will be held on April 11.
In Meghalaya, Former chief minister and senior Congress leader Mukul Sangma filed his papers for the Tura Lok Sabha seat. Meghalaya’s two Lok Sabha seats Shillong and Tura go to polls on April 11.
BJP candidates MLA Sanbor Shullai and party state vice president Rikman G Momin filed their nominations for the Shillong and Tura Lok Sabha seats, respectively.
In Manipur, eight candidates filed their nominations for Outer Manipur Lok Sabha seat.