Puducherry: A total of 344 candidates, including 97 independents, are in the fray for the May 16 elections to the 30-member Union Territory Assembly.
Twenty two candidates withdrew their nominations today, the last day for doing so, leaving 344 contestants in the fray, Puducherry Chief Electoral officer V Candavelou told reporters here.
Of them, 322 were men, 21 women and one coming under 'other gender' category, he said.
Prominent among the candidates are Chief Minister N Rangasamy, Opposition leader V Vaithilingam and P Kannan, who recently quit Congress.
The CEO said Oulgaret segment has the maximum number of 17 candidates while the Karaikal (North) has the minimum of eight candidates.
Region wise break up of candidates is as follows: Puducherry having 23 constituencies has 272 nominees while Karaikal (5) has 51 contestants and Mahe and Yanam with one constituency each have 10 and 11 contestants respectively.
The total voters strength in the Union Territory is 9,41,935.