Former union minister Ajay Maken, ex-army chief V K Singh, actor Shatrughan Sinha and journalist-turned-politician Ashutosh are among an array of key leaders of Congress, BJP and AAP who filed their nominations today for Lok Sabha polls across six states.
Sinha filed his nomination from Patna Sahib constituency in Bihar as a BJP candidate but the event was marred by violence as his supporters beat up a group of youth who showed black flags to the actor-turned-politician when he was on his way to submit the papers.
Of the five states, Delhi witnessed the highest number of high-profile personalities entering the poll fray, including Ajay Maken and his and Sandeep Dikshit of Congress, BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi and Ashutosh of AAP.
Maken, AICC General Secretary and Communication Department Chairman, was the first to submit his nomination papers followed by his challenger Lekhi for the prestigious New Delhi constituency.
Maken had won unopposed the US-style primaries, a brainchild of Rahul Gandhi, to select the party's choice of nominee for the constituency.
Aam Aadmi Party has fielded journalist-turned-politician Ashish Khetan from the seat. He filed his nomination papers yesterday.
Ashutosh filed his papers from Chandni Chowk constituency where he will challenge union minister Kapil Sibal of Congress and BJP veteran Harsh Vardhan in what promises to be a mouth-watering clash.
Congress nominee and sitting MP Sandeep Dikshit also jumped into the fray from East Delhi constituency where he takes on BJP's Maheish Girri and AAP's Rajmohan Gandhi.
In UP, former army Chief and BJP candidate V K Singh filed his papers from Ghaziabad Lok Sabha constituency where he will be challenged by Raj Babbar of Congress and Shazia Ilmi of AAP.
Seven-time Congress MP Vilas Muttemwar and former minister Mukul Wasnik filed their nomination papers here for Nagpur and Ramtek Lok Sabha seats respectively amid huge fanfare.
In Assam, union ministers Paban Singh Ghatowar from Dibrugarh and Ranee Narah from Lakhimpur were among 53 candidates who filed their papers for the first phase of the polls to five Lok Sabha constituencies on April seven for which the deadline for nominations ended today.
Wheel chair-bound former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma, President of National People's Party, filed his his papers for his traditional Tura constituency in Meghalaya which he had represented for over four decades.
It marks the return of Sangma to the poll battle after a gap of six years when he had contested the assembly elections in Meghalaya in 2008.
Sitting MP and former union minister Vincent H Pala of Congress also filed his nomination papers to contest the April 9 Lok Sabha elections for the Shillong seat.