Hyderabad: With the deadline for withdrawal of nominations ending on Thursday, the Election Commission (EC) has confirmed that only 28 candidates will fight the Huzur Nagar bypoll on October 21 as three Independent candidates have offered to quit the race.
Three Independent candidates -- Prathap Reddy, Shankar, and Saidulu -- have withdrawn from the poll fray for reasons that are not known.
A total of 76 candidates had filed nominations for the bypoll. The nominations of 45 of them were rejected, including Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) candidate Shekhar Rao.
Sources said the EC has finalised the names of 28 candidates. The poll body had earlier rejected 45 nominations out of the 76 since they were not eligible, allowing only 31.
The bypoll in Huzurnagar is necessitated by the resignation of state Congress chief Uttam Kumar Reddy from the Assembly following his election to Lok Sabha from Nalgonda constituency in the recent general elections.
The main candidates in the fray include Uttam Kumar Reddy's wife and Congress candidate Padmavathi Reddy, ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi's Saidi Reddy, the Telugu Desam Party's Chava Kiranmai and the BJP's K Rama Rao. It is likely to be a direct fight between the TRS and Congress candidates.
The CPI, which is not contesting the bypoll, has declared support to the TRS. Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS), which is also staying away from the contest, announced support to the Congress. With the CPI-M candidate's nomination being rejected, the TDP has sought the party's support.
In the Assembly elections held last December, the TDP, CPI and the TJS had contested the polls in alliance with the Congress. However, the four-party People's Alliance failed to stop the TRS from retaining power with a massive majority.
The Congress, which won 19 seats, has since lost 12 of its MLAs to the TRS. One of TDP's two MLAs also defected to the ruling party.