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EC gears up for nomination rush

By Our Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI, APRIL 21. Expecting a rush of candidates wanting to file their nomination papers for the seven Lok Sabha seats in the Capital on the last two days - Thursday and Friday -- the Chief Electoral Officer, Delhi, Arun Goyal, has issued specific directives for ensuring smooth conduct of the entire process.

Normally the rush for filing of nomination papers is experienced only on the last day, but with Thursday falling on the auspicious "Akshaya Tritya" day, officials in the Election Commission said they were expecting a steady flow of candidates on April 22.

Strangely, while the majority of the Bharatiya Janata party candidates have already filed their nomination papers, five of the seven Congress nominees would formally enter the fray only on April 22. Prominent among them being the Congress spokesman Kapil Sibal from Chandni Chowk parliamentary constituency, the senior party leader, Sajjan Kumar from Outer Delhi, the Delhi Assembly Speaker, Ajay Maken, from New Delhi, the Deputy Assembly Speaker, Krishna Tirath, from Karol Bagh (SC) and Sandeep Dikshit, son of the Delhi Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit, from East Delhi.

"The day is considered to be very auspicious and normally on this day a large number of marriages are solemnised. This is the reason why these leaders have decided to file their nomination papers on this day, despite that fact that their names were declared much in advance," the official said.

On the last day, only two prominent candidates have announced that they would file their nomination papers. They are Smriti Irani, the BJP nominee from Chandni Chowk, and the former Union Transport Minister, Jagdish Tytler, from Delhi Sadar on a Congress ticket.

For the last day, Mr. Goyal has said that any one arriving at the office of the respective Returning Officers till 3 p.m. would be allowed to file their nomination papers.

Expecting that every candidate would come along with their scores of supporters raising slogans and accompanied by a large number of vehicles, Mr. Goyal is learnt to have asked the police to take special measure so that there was no major traffic jams in and around the office of the seven Returning Officers across the Capital.

The police have been specifically told to ensure that the candidates of the rival political parties do not arrive to file nomination papers at the same time. The political parties have been requested to avoid "padyatra" during peak hours so as not to inconvenience regular commuters.

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