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|February 2, 1998|
Number of contestants falls in Bihar
The number of candidates contesting the general election in Bihar has registered a steep fall -- this time, only 469 candidates are in the fray compared to the record 1,448 in the 1996 poll.
This is the second lowest number of candidates to contest parliamentary polls from the state.
The lowest was in 1977, when Bihar saw just 340 contestants. Though 524 aspirants had filed nominations that year, 174 had withdrawn while 10 were rejected.
For the current polls, 567 candidates filed nominations from the state's 54 constituencies. Of this, 55 have been rejected. Fortythree candidates withdrew their nominations.
The hike in security deposit to Rs 10,000 for general candidates and Rs 5,000 for scheduled caste/tribes is said to be the main reason for the fall in nominations.
The maximum number of candidates in the fray are in the Patna constituency -- 18. It's followed by Muzaffarpur and Arrah with 16 each. The lowest number of candidates is four, in Begusarai, Khunti, Rosera and Singhbhum.
In the 1996 election, 1,325 candidates lost their security deposit. Altogether 2,164 candidates had filed nominations, but 716 were later rejected on scrutiny or withdrew.
The largest number of contestants was from Muzaffarpur -- 61 -- followed by 48 from Patna.
In the 1989 election, 711 candidates were in the fray. In 1984 it was 676 while in 1980 it was 594.
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