324 candidates left in fray for Assembly poll in Puducherry

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Puducherry, Mar 22 (PTI): As many as 324 candidates are left in the fray for the April 6 Assembly poll in Puducherry, said the Department of Election on Monday.

Fifty-eight candidates out of 382 candidates, whose nominations were found to be in order at the end of scrutiny of nominations on March 20, withdrew their nominations today, the last day to withdraw candidatures.

Most of the candidates who withdrew their nominations were Independents.

N Rangasamy, the AINRC leader, is among the key contestants and is seeking election from two segments - Thattanchavady in Puducherry region and Yanam, an enclave of Puducherry, in Andhra Pradesh.

AINRC heading NDA has fielded candidates in 16 of the total 30 constituencies.

The Bharatiya Janata Party and the AIADMK - the other constituents of the NDA - are contesting from nine and five constituencies respectively.

Congress heading the Secular Democratic Alliance (SDA) has fielded candidates in 14 seats out of the 15 constituencies allotted.

The Congress is supporting an Independent candidate Gollapalli Srinivas Ashok in Yanam.

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, a major partner in SDA, is contesting in 13 constituencies. The VCK and CPI - the other constituents of the alliance - have fielded one candidate each in Oulgaret and Thattanchavady segments respectively.

Pattali Makkal Katchi has withdrawn its candidates from all the 10 seats it had sought to contest and announced its support to the AINRC-headed NDA here, a source in the PMK said. PTI COR NVG NVG