A record number of 268 candidates turned up to file nominations on Monday, the fourth and last day of submitting papers to contest the upcoming municipal polls on May 15.
The number of nominations received on the Monday was 63% more than the total candidatures filed in the first three days together.
Now, 456 candidates are in the fray for the post of 35 seats of municipal councillors. While the last day was expected to be busy, the overwhelming turnout took officials by surprise.
The first day (last Thursday) saw dismal response with only eight applicants showing up. The following day, 35 candidates filed their nominations while Saturday saw a huge response from 127 applicants.
But Monday broke all previous records. Sample this. In ward number 4, a total of 12 nominations were filed, of which nine submitted their forms on the last day. A similar trend was seen in ward number 12 too. In ward number 19, a total of 20 applications were submitted out of which 14 came on Monday.
For some candidates, choosing Monday had religious connotations too. “I am a great believer of Lord Shiva, and Monday is said to be his day. I have been going for the Amarnath Yatra since the last 23 years and will go again this July. I couldn't choose any day but Monday even if it was the last day,” said Yogesh Kaushik, a candidate from ward 32.
Though most wards drew maximum response on Monday, there were aberrations in ward number 5 and 6.
In the former, out of 16, only five applications were submitted on Monday while only two filed their nominations out of a total of 10.
Carrying of weapons prohibited
In the run-up to the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) elections, district commissioner PC Meena has, as a precautionary measure, imposed Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code 1973 in Gurgaon.
This prohibits carrying of weapons in corporation areas of Gurgaon.
As per the orders, Meena has prohibited carrying of any weapon of offence like fire arms, swords, lathis, knifes, cycle chains and other weapons.
The orders would remain in force till the election process is completed.
The orders would not be applicable on police personnel and other officers on duty and followers of Sikh religion carrying the kripan.
Those violating the orders will face action as per the law. HTC, gurgaon
Voters want women of substance, not puppets
Ahead of the municipal elections, residents of the wards reserved for women contestants have set their preference clear that they will elect only educated candidates and not a puppet representative.
Ward numbers 3, 8, 11, 13, 14, 16, 27, 28, 29, 30, 33 and 34 are reserved for women in the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon election which is scheduled to be held on May 15.
Although some contestants who have filed nominations from these wards are well-qualified, few of them are said to have been contesting as proxy and are controlled by others.
“We are very apprehensive about candidates and looking for a genuine knowledgeable councillor. It is difficult to gauge who is the right person to vote for,” said Atul Batra, president of Heritage City's Residents Welfare Association (RWA).
Batra has a reason to doubt about the ability of contestants. He said at the time of filing nominations, one could easily gauge proxy candidates.
“Some were clearly instructed by their husbands about ‘where to sign’ and ‘what to do’ while one of them wasn't even aware whether she should stand in front of the assistant returning officer or in the witness box.”
Many residents are opposed to the endorsement by the political parties and want to vote for independent candidates.
“The elected representative should be popular among masses and not necessarily a political figure,” said a resident.