SHIMLA: Battle lines were drawn for the November 9 Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls for which 349 candidates were left in the fray after the last date for withdrawal of nominations passed today, officials said.
There will be a direct contest in the Jhanduta (SC) constituency in Bilaspur while Nurpur, Sundernagar, Chintpurni, Doon, Pachhad (SC), Banjar, Ani(SC), Nachan(SC) , Renukaji(SC), Jubbal and Kotkhai would witness a triangular fight with the BJP and Congress as the major players.
The ruling Congress and opposition BJP have fielded candidates from all the 68 seats while the CPI(M) is contesting 16 seats.
Four cornered contests are on the cards in 22 constituencies while five cornered contest will be witnessed in 14 constituencies.
There are nine seats for which there will be six cornered contests and for six constituencies, seven candidates each are in the fray.
A maximum number of 12 candidates are in the fray from Dharamsala, followed by 10 in Karsog (SC), nine in Jaswan- Pragpur and Sarkaghat and eight each in Fatehpur and Palampur.
Chief minister Virbhadra Singh is facing greenhorn Rattan Singh Pal of the BJP in a four cornered contest for the Arki seat.
Leader of opposition Prem Kumar Dhumal is pitted against Rajinder Rana (Congress) in a five cornered contest from Sujanpur.
State BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti is facing Satpal Singh Raizada (Congress) in a five cornered contest while state Congress chief Sukhvinder Singh Sukkhu is pitted against sitting BJP MLA Vijay Agnihotri in a six cornered contest in Nadaun.
About a dozen rebels of including Singhi Ram ,Vijay Singh Mankotia and Harish Janartha of the Congress and Praveen Sharma and Hridaya Ram of the BJP are also in the fray.
The polling would be held in a single phase on November 9 and counting of votes would be taken up on December 18.