Dehradun: Fourteen candidates remained in fray for the October 10 Tehri Lok Sabha bypoll in Uttarakhand after the process of withdrawals came to an end here on Wednesday evening.
A total of 23 candidates had filed nominations for the seat out of which two were rejected during scrutiny and seven withdrew, Uttarakhand`s Chief Election Officer Radha Raturi said.
Prominent among those who have withdrawn nominations are BJP nominee Mala Raj Laxmi Shah`s husband Manujendra Shah, who had entered the fray as a dummy candidate for his wife, and Janata Dal (S) candidate Gopal Verma who pulled out of the fray in favour of the Congress nominee.
A tough battle appears to be on the cards on the seat where Congress has fielded Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna`s son Saket Bahuguna against BJP nominee Mala Raj Laxmi Shah, the daughter-in-law of the erstwhile Tehri royal family.
Shah`s father-in-law Maharaja Manvendra Singh had represented the seat for a record eight times in the Lok Sabha.
Ruling ally Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (P) continues to be in the fray for the bypoll.
"There is no question of my pulling out of the contest. Be it Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna or Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, no one can buy me up," UKD (P) chief Trivendra Singh Panwar, who is contesting from the seat said when asked whether he continued to be in the fray.
Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna had appealed to him yesterday to follow the coalition dharma and withdraw in favour of the Congress nominee.
"UKD gave support to our government and we gave it a ministerial berth. Now it is time for our ally to return the gesture by withdrawing its nominee from Tehri," the chief minister said at a poll meeting in Uttarkashi district yesterday.