On the last day for withdrawal of nominations, a woman candidate each from Ghaziabad, Sahibabad and Loni withdrew. It is interesting to note that the husbands of the three women are contesting the elections from the segments.
Official sources said that the withdrawals pointed at the use of other candidates as a ‘backup’ in case the nomination of the main candidate got cancelled.
The three candidates include Geeta Devi, an independent candidate from Loni seat and wife of Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) candidate Madan Bhaiya, and Nirmal Yadav, an independent candidate from Ghaziabad seat who had filed a nomination against her husband Dhirendra alias Billu Yadav.
“My wife filed her nomination as a backup candidate in case my candidature got cancelled due to any mistake in the nomination form. However, she is not contesting and has withdrawn her candidature,” Dhirendra said.
His wife, Nirmal Yadav, had earlier said that she wanted to gain experience in politics and had filed nomination from the same seat as Dhirendra’s.
It is interesting to note the withdrawal of nomination by Geeta Devi, wife of RLD candidate Madan Bhaiya. Both had filed their nominations from the Loni segment and had also cleared the scrutiny process. Loni returning officer Prem Ranjan said that she had withdrawn her name on Friday, leaving only six contesting candidates for the Loni seat.
The third candidate to withdraw was Sushma Sharma, a Vaishali resident who had planned to contest as an independent candidate from Sahibabad.
District election office Nidhi Kesarwani said that the third woman candidate who withdrew her nomination is wife of Rajiv Sharma who is contesting as an independent candidate.
“My husband has not withdrawn but I withdrew my nomination. He is contesting the elections,” Sushma Sharma said.
A total of 53 candidates will now contest the 2017 assembly elections from the five assembly constituencies in the district.
Interestingly, Geeta Devi had also contested the 2007 assembly elections from Khekra seat in Baghpat as an independent candidate, while her husband had contested the same seat on an RLD ticket and won. Then, she was the only woman among the 18 candidates and had secured 614 votes.
Overall, six candidates will contest from the Loni segment, 11 from Sahibabad, nine from Modi Nagar, 14 from Murad Nagar and 13 from Ghaziabad.
“After the names of the final 53 candidates were left in the fray, we allotted them the symbols for contesting the elections,” Nidhi Kesarwani, district election officer, Ghaziabad, said.
This time, fewer candidates are left in the fray. In the 2012 assembly elections, a total of 69 candidates had contested from the district. Earlier, in 2007 and 2002 assembly elections, a total of 51 and 42 candidates, respectively, had contested the three seats in Ghaziabad district. Since 2012, the Ghaziabad seat was divided into two more segments — Loni and Sahibabad.