As many as 695 nomination papers out of 1,941 have been rejected in Punjab after scrutiny by the Election Commission for the February 4 assembly polls, an official said in Chandigarh on Thursday.
During the scrutiny, 1,243 nominations were found valid and 695 invalid while three cases were kept pending, one in Hoshiarpur and two in Mansa, an official spokesman of the Punjab Chief Electoral Office said.
He said 46 out of 58 nominations were found correct in Pathankot, 73 out of 106 in Gurdaspur, 121 out of 196 in Amritsar, 34 out of 55 in Tarn Taran, 37 out of 76 in Kapurthala, 91 out of 146 in Jalandhar, 79 out of 119 in Hoshiarpur, 31 out of 45 in SBS Nagar, 27 out of 41 in Rupnagar, 37 out of 69 in Mohali, 27 out of 37 in Fatehgarh Sahib and 138 valid out of 222 in Ludhiana.
He further said 49 out of 61 nominations were found valid in Moga, 51 out of 70 in Ferozepur, 48 out of 66 in Fazilka, 31 out of 68 in Muktsar, 28 out of 41 in Faridkot, 63 out of 110 in Bathinda, 32 out of 48 in Mansa, 71 out of 115 in Sangrur, 31 out of 44 in Barnala and 98 out of 148 in Patiala.
For Amritsar bye-poll, 10 nomination papers were found valid out of 15 as five were rejected, the spokesman said.
The last date of withdrawal of candidature is January 21 and the counting of votes will take place on March 11.
Punjab, which has 117 assembly seats, is set to witness a three-cornered contest between SAD-BJP, the Congress and new entrant AAP.
Prominent among those in the fray are Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, his son and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh, cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu and AAP MP Bhagwant Mann.
SAD has fielded candidates on 94 seats while its ally BJP has nominated candidates on the remaining 23 seats. Congress is contesting alone on all seats.
Aam Aadmi Party, which is contesting assembly polls for the first time in Punjab, has fielded its candidates on 112 seats while its ally Lok Insaf Party led by Ludhiana-based Bains brothers have fielded contestants on five seats.
Other political outfits in the fray include BSP, former AAP leader Sucha Singh Chottepur-led Apna Punjab Party (APP), the Left comprising CPI and CPI(M) and SAD-Amritsar.