Varanasi: The high-profile Lok Sabha battle in this temple town will finally see 42 candidates fighting it out among themselves, after nominations of 34 contestants were rejected and two others withdrew from the race.
BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is fighting from this seat, while his major challengers include Congress' Ajay Rai and Aam Aadmi Party's Arvind Kejriwal. Modi is also in the fray from Vadodara in Gujarat.
The deadline for withdrawal of nominations ended on Monday for the polls scheduled for May 12, while scrutiny of papers filed by various candidates was conducted on April 25.
A record number of 79 candidates had filed their nominations from here, which included a covering BJP candidate.
According to election authorities, the final contest would be now between 42 candidates after two withdrawals, 34 rejections and removal of one covering candidate.
While Garib Aadmi Party's Shyam Babu Gupta had withdrawn his nomination on Saturday, Independent Fardeen Chaudhary withdrew from the contest today.
District Election Officer Pranjal Yadav also formally allotted election symbols today to the 42 contestants in the fray from Varanasi Lok Sabha seat, which is estimated to have over 16 lakh voters and comprises five state assembly constituencies.
Major candidates like Modi, Rai, Kejriwal, Samajwadi Party's Kailash Chaurasia, BSP's Vijay Prakash Jaisawal and CPI-M's Hira Lal Yadav will fight on their respective party symbols.
The symbols allotted to other candidates include cot, flute, stick, grapes, auto-rickshaw, letter box, cup-plate, gas cylinder, kite, almirah, television, blackboard, camera, stethoscope, iron, hat, bat, table lamp, coconut, air conditioner, sewing machine, glass, harmonium, scissor, torch, pressure cooker, telephone, helmet, ring, envelop and car.