Chandigarh, April 12: A total of 253 candidates remain in the electoral battle for 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab, an election official said Saturday.
Additional chief electoral officer Supreet Singh Gulati said that 350 candidates had filed their nominations, which were reduced to 280 after scrutiny.
Saturday was the last date for withdrawal of nominations.
The highest number of candidates – 29 – are in the Bathinda Lok Sabha seat, followed by Jalandhar (24), Amritsar (23) and Ludhiana (22). The lowest number of candidates are in Gurdaspur (13).
The main contest is between the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance and opposition Congress. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) too has entered the fray this time by fielding candidates on all 13 seats.
The big names contesting this time include Arun Jaitley (Amritsar, BJP), Amarinder Singh (Amritsar, Congress), Vinod Khanna (Gurdaspur, BJP), Pratap Singh Bajwa (Gurdaspur, Congress), union minister Preneet Kaur (Patiala, Congress), former union minister Ambika Soni (Anandpur Sahib, Congress), leader of opposition Sunil Jakhar (Ferozepur, Congress), lawyer H.S.Phoolka (Ludhiana, AAP), Harsimrat Badal (Bathinda, Akali Dal) and Manpreet Badal (Bathinda, Congress-Peoples Party of Punjab).
There are over 1.92 crore eligible voters in Punjab. Polling takes place on all 13 seats April 30.
In the 2009 general elections, the Congress won eight Lok Sabha seats, the Akali Dal won four and BJP got one seat.