20, including 13 Independents, file papers

Nominations for the 2019 Lok Sabha election began in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday, with the election commission issuing a notification and accepting nomination papers for the 40 Lok Sabha seats and 18 vacant Assembly seats in the State.
20, including 13 Independents, file papers
An independent candidate submitting his nomination papers to an election official in Chennai


On the first day, 13 Independents and seven candidates of minor parties submitted their papers to the Returning Officers for Lok Sabha seats. For the bypolls, two Independents from Perambur and Thiruvarur submitted their papers. 
“Twenty applications for Lok Sabha seats and two for Assembly seats have been received, and this includes four applications in north Chennai and three in south Chennai,” a communique from Chief Electoral Officer Sathyabrata Sahoo said. EC officials also directed banks to share the details of cash movement to ATMs so that there is no seizure of bank currency. 
CEO Sahoo also urged them to nominate a coordinating official in each district to update district election officers and the CEO about the cash transportation to ATMs. 
The body also appointed six IRS officers as expenditure observers for three Lok Seats in Chennai and retired revenue official Madhu Mahajan is also to monitor the 
expenditure accounts of political parties. 
With the State coming under the second phase of polls, more general observers and police observers will arrive by the end of this month, election department sources said. The dates for filing nominations for Tamil Nadu commenced from March 19 and will go on till March 26. 
Scrutiny of the nominations will be carried out on March 27 and the last date for withdrawal of nomination is on March 29, sources said. Elections will be conducted in a single phase for Tamil Nadu on April 18 and the results will be announced for the State as well as the entire country on May 23.
Only nomination, no deposit is reverse walker’s style
While there was no action in Vellore on Tuesday, day one of nomination filing process, Tiruvannamalai officials were in for a strange experience as an independent candidate – popular for his backward walking style – filed his papers for the Lok Sabha election.  Interestingly, the collectorates of both the districts was filled with khakhi uniforms instead of dhotis with party flag colours. Though three assembly segments, Sholingur, Ambur and Gudiyattam (reserved) in Vellore district, would be going to polls on April 18, none, including candidates of any big or small party turned up. But, ‘reverse walker’ Manithan (46) of Tirupatthur in Vellore district, who filed his nomination for Tiruvannamalai Lok Sabha constituency, turned out to be the cynosure. What’s funnier with Manithan is that he would regularly file nomination alone and wouldn’t pay the deposit amount, due to which his candidature would be rejected. 
‘Election King’ in Dharmapuri turf for the ninth time
It wasn’t a dry day for the Dharmapuri Lok Sabha constituency unlike in some other places as ‘Election King’ Padmarajan, lone and independent candidate filed his nomination on the opening day of poll nomination. Further, it was surely a red-letter day for the ‘Election King’ as it was his 200th electoral nomination, the practice which he began 27 years ago.  “Since 1988, I have been contesting in parliamentary, assembly and co-operative polls. I had so far contested 199 times and I had filed nomination to contest for the 200th time (today),” Padmarajan told media. Having contested eight times from Dharmapuri itself, this election he will be challenging the big party candidates, including PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss. Although he doesn’t spend on elections, Padmarajan has spent lakhs of rupees for filing nominations alone and had even contested unsuccessfully against former Presidents and PMs.
Rides cart with four women to Coimbatore collector’s office 
In Coimbatore, the style adopted by an independent candidate to reach the office of the returning officer drew all eyes on Tuesday the first day of filing of nomination. Independent candidate Noor Muhammed, clad in a white shirt and dhoti, came pulling a cart, with four women seated on it and filed his nomination at the Collector’s office. Police, however, stopped him from entering the Collector’s office along with the cart. Following this, Noor left it outside and entered the collectorate to file the nomination.  Speaking to media, Noor Muhammed said, “I had contested unsuccessfully in 29 elections in Andipatti, Madurai West, and RK Nagar. I hope to win at least in this election. I came in a cart to pledge my support to those victims who were sexually abused in Pollachi.” Besides him, Vasantha Kumar, a farmer from Kalapatty area, too filed his nomination.

Yoga master files nomination in Gandhi attire in Namakkal
Namakkal district on Tuesday saw a yoga master dressed like Gandhi filing his nomination for the Lok Sabha polls on an Ahimsa Socialist Party ticket. “My party promotes the ideology of the ‘Father of the Nation’. So, I came dressed like him,” 39-year-old Ramesh told media. He also appealed to voters not to choose the NOTA option. “There is no point opting for NOTA. People should vote by analysing which candidate is good. I had commenced my campaign by promising to develop basic amenities,” Ramesh said. However, the day was not without incident for him. As he arrived to file his nomination pedalling a cycle and wielding a bamboo stick, cops stopped him and left him only after taking hold of the stick.

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