Jammu: As many as 39 independent candidates out of total 123 are in the fray in 15 assembly segments going to polls in the first phase of elections in Jammu and Kashmir on November 25.
Of these, 17 independents are in fray in Kashmir region, 19 in Jammu region and 3 in Ladakh region, according to the data available with the State Election department.
The highest number of 7 Independent candidates in Ganderbal Assembly Segment, followed 6 in Doda, where a total of 11 candidates are in fray.
However, there are no independents in fray in Banihal Assembly segment of Jammu region, followed by Leh and Kargil segments of Ladakh region.
One independent candidate each in Gurez, Zanaskar and Ramban constituencies are in the fray.
A total of 123 candidates, including seven ministers of Congress-NC coalition, eight former ministers and legislators are in fray for the Jammu and Kashmir's first phase of elections scheduled later this month.
Nazir Gurezi contesting from Gurez seat, Mohmmad Akbar Lone from Sonawari assembly constituency, Mian Altaf Ahmed from Kangan and Sajjad Kitchloo from Kishtwar are the ministers of the Omar Abdullah led NC government who are in the election fray this time.
Other candidates are, Nawang Rigzin Jora (Congress) contesting from Leh constituency, Abdul Majid Wani (Congress) from Doda, Vakar Rasool Wani (Congress) from Banihal and Chief Executive Counsellor of Ladakh Autonomous hill Development council (LAHDC) Asgar Ali Karbalie (Congress) from Kargil, the spokesman said.
Three sitting legislators and former minister, including G M Saroori (Congress) from Inderwal, Mohd Sharief Naiz (Congress) from Bhaderwah, Khalid Najeeb Suharwardy (NC) from Doda besides the sitting MLAs - Nizamudin Bhat (PDP) and Ashok Kumar (Congress) from Bandipora and Ramban segments respectively, will also be fighting this election.
Apart from these, there are two bureaucrats in the fray.
Former IAS officers, Mehboob Iqbal and Bashir Ahmed Roniyal are contesting on PDP ticket from Bhaderwah and Banihal constituencies as well as journalist-turned politician Firdos Tak, is also contesting on a PDP ticket from Kishtwar.