SRINAGAR: A total of 25 candidates have submitted nomination papers from Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha constituency, which will go to polls on May 7, officials said on Friday.

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“A total of 28 nomination papers have been received. Three candidates have submitted two nomination papers each, so we have 25 candidates,” Anantnag Deputy Commissioner Syed Fakhruddin, who is the returning officer of the constituency, said.

He said the scrutiny of the nomination papers will be done on Saturday. April 22 is the last date for withdrawal of nominations. The allotment of poll symbols will be done on April 23, Fakhruddin said.

The key candidates from the constituency are former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti, senior National Conference (NC) leader Mian Altaf, Zaffar Iqbal Manhas of the Apni Party and Mohammad Saleem Parray of the Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP).

There are also candidates from smaller political parties and several independents, including the first non-Kashmiri person to contest an election in Jammu and Kashmir.

Baldev Kumar, a resident of Punjab’s Mohali who is currently residing in Jammu Tawi, has submitted his nomination from the constituency,”making him the first non-Kashmiri to contest polls in the Union Territory. The counting of votes will be taken up on June 4.

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