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After the last date of withdrawals on Friday, as many as 241 candidates are in the fray for the 14 Lok Sabha constituencies in Karnataka for the first phase of polling on April 18.

"With 33 withdrawals after scrutiny of 274 validly nominated candidates on Wednesday, the number of contestants in 14 parliamentary seats is 241," said an official of the state's Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), reports IANS.

Among the constituencies, Bengaluru North has the highest number of candidates with 31 contesting for the upcoming polls, followed by 25 in Bengaluru South and 22 each in Bengaluru Central, Mandya and Mysore.

Hassan has the lowest number of candidates, 6, followed by 10 in Chamarajnagar, 12 in Udupi-Chikkamagaluru and 13 in Dakshina Kannada constituencies. Maximum withdrawals from candidates were, 6 in Kolar, followed by 4 each in Chitradurga, Mandya and Tumakuru.

The first phase of the polling includes prominent figures like the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) supremo HD Deve Gowda contesting from Tumakuru and his grandsons Prajwal Revanna from Hassan and Nikhil Kumaraswamy from Mandya respectively.

The JD(S) candidature was a well-questioned subject in the state as the Gowda family has faced severe disproval in Mandya and Tumakuru, as the actress-turned-politician Sumalatha Ambareesh is also contesting from Mandya against Nikhil Kumaraswamy.

A rebel candidate and sitting Congress MP from Tumakuru, S P Muddahanumegowda had earlier refused to give up his seat for Deve Gowda. But on Friday he too withdrew his nomination.

Also in the fray are Union Minister Sadananda Gowda from Bengaluru North, Karnataka Rural Development Minister Krishna Byre Gowda from Bengaluru North, senior Congress leaders Veerappa Moily from Chikkaballapura and B K Hariprasad from Bengaluru South.

There were no withdrawals in Bengaluru South and Dakshina Kannada, while it was 1 each in Bengaluru North and Hassan and 2 each in Bengaluru Central, Bengaluru Rural, Chamarajnagar, Chikkaballapur and Udupi-Chikkamagalur.

There were 362 candidates, who filed nominations by the last date on March 26 for the first phase after notification on March 19.

Polling in the remaining 14 seats in the second phase is on April 23 and vote count for all the 28 seats is on May 23.

(With agency inputs)