Shillong, Feb 9 (IANS) A total of 345 candidates are in the fray for the Feb 23 elections to pick a new 60-member Meghalaya assembly, an Election Commission official said Saturday.
Of the 345 candidates in the fray, 122 are Independents, the official said. Saturday was the last date for withdrawing nominations.
"Four nominations were rejected due to various reasons and six candidates withdrew their nomination," Chief Electoral Officer Prashant Naik told IANS.
For the electoral battle, 25 women candidates have been fielded by eight political parties and eight women have joined the fray as Independents.
Naik said there was a steep rise in the number of Independent candidates this year as compared to 77 candidates in 2008 assembly polls.
The ruling Congress party, which is hoping for an absolute majority in the elections, has fielded candidates in all constituencies.