Fifteen candidates, including two BJP rebels, filed their nomination papers on the last day on Monday for bypolls to assembly segments of Pachhad and Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh, a state election official said.
All the 15 candidates filed their papers on a single day on Monday with local leaders arguing they were waiting for the "inauspicious" Pitru Paksha or Shraddha period to end on Saturday.
Former Sirmour Zila Parishad chairperson Dayal Pyari and former Akhil Bhartiya Vidharthi Parishad (ABVP) leader Ashish Sikta filed their nominations from Pachhad (SC) seat as independents.
Both Pyari and Sikta were aspirants for BJP tickets but the saffron party preferred former Sirmour Zila Parishad member Reena Kashyap who also filed her papers in the presence of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Monday.
Former minister Gangu Ram Musafir also filed his papers as Congress candidate from Pachhad, the election official said, adding Dinesh Arya filed his papers as a "covering" candidate for the Congress.
Pawan Kumar and Surender Pal also filed their papers as independent candidates from Pachhad.
In Dharamshala, Congress candidate Vijay Inder Karan and BJP contestant Vishal Nehriya filed their nomination papers.
Besides Manohar Lal Dhiman, Subash Chandra Shukla, Nisha Katoch, Rakesh Kumar, Chokas Bharadwaj and Puneesh Sharma filed their papers as independent candidates from Dharamshala.
The two seats fell vacant after sitting BJP MLAs Suresh Kashyap (Pachhad) and Kishan Kapoor (Dharamshala) were elected to the Lok Sabha.
The scrutiny of papers will be held on October 1 and the last date of withdrawal of papers will be October 3.
The voting will be held on October 21 and the counting will be taken up on October 24.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)