A total of 1,145 candidates are in the fray for the February 4 Punjab Assembly polls, state Chief Electoral Officer V K Singh said on Monday after withdrawal and rejection of nominations.
Earlier, 1,941 nominations had been filed for the polls. Among the parties, Congress has fielded candidates on 117 seats while new entrant AAP has nominated 112 candidates.
Ruling SAD has 94 contestants and its ally BJP has 23 candidates who are contesting polls. Former AAP leader Sucha Singh Chhotepur led Apna Punjab Party (APP) and SAD (Amritsar) have fielded candidates on 77 seats and 54 seats, respectively.
BSP has fielded 111 candidates and All India Trinamool Congress has 20 contestants for assembly polls, he said.
Sanaur constituency in Patiala district has the highest number of 18 candidates while Khemkaran and Fatehgarh Sahib have the minimum of five candidates each.
Six candidates are in the fray in Lambi constituency in Muktsar district from where Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and state Congress chief Amarinder Singh are contesting.
Besides political parties, 304 Independents are fighting assembly polls, he said.
Punjab CEO further informed that 55 general observers, 50 expenditure observers and 27 police observers have reached the state in the wake of assembly polls.
There are a total of 1,98,79,069 voters in the state, out of which 1.05 crore are male and 93.75 lakh are female, he said.
Third gender vote in the state is 415 and service voters are 1.50 lakh, he said, adding there are also 364 NRI votes in the state.
There are 4,05,800 voters who are eligible to exercise their franchise for first time.
Sharing details about the paid news cases in the state, Singh said that 46 notices were issued to the candidates concerned. Out of these, 16 were found to be cases of certified paid news, four were declared unpaid news and 26 were under process, he said.
Singh said the expenditure related to paid news would be added to the poll expenditure of respective candidates.
Candidates against whom paid news cases were found included Congress candidates Darshan Lal, Angad Singh, Raja Amarinder Singh Warring, Bharat Bhushan Ashu, AAP candidate Atul Nagpal and Independent Sukhdarshan Singh, as per information provided by CEO Office.