31 pull out from CMC poll race

Cuttack: At least 31 candidates, including one from Congress, withdrew from the CMC poll race on Friday leaving a total 350 contestants in the fray for February 6 elections in all the 59 wards of the city.

On the last day of withdrawal, the Congress nominee Md Wasim Ismail of Ward No 41 decided to recall his nomination papers leaving the party to contest only from 58 wards. Ismail was picked up by Congress to challenge the district BJD president Pratap Jena?s nephew Kanishka Jena from the locality.

Two Biju Swabhiman Dal candidates and 28 independents too withdrew their papers on the day, said a release issued by the CMC election officer Laxmidhar Mohanty.

Mohanty said with the completion of withdrawal process, 59 candidates each from BJD and BJP, 58 from Congress, 4 CPI, 3 CPM, 1 BSP, 7 Utkal Bharat, 5 Biju Swabhiman Dal, 21 OJM, 1 Aama Odisha and 132 independents now remained in the fray.

Among the 28 independent candidates, who pulled out their papers on the day, many were considered as rebel candidates of various political parties and they had filed papers as independent candidates after they failed to obtain party tickets.