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Last day, eight nominees

Eight candidates threw their hats into the mayoral poll ring on Wednesday, the last day of filing nominations.

With today’s eight, the total number of nominations filed for the June 23 civic contest has shot up to 16. The state election commission will verify the forms tomorrow and announce the final names.

Those who filed nominations on Wednesday are Rose Praveen Tirkey, Ganesh Lohra, Sunil Kujur, Durga Munda, Sudama Khalkho, Antu Tirkey, Lokesh Khalkho and Pushpa Kachchap.

Among the eight, only Rose Praveen is a graduate.

Three — Sunil Kujur, Antu Tirkey and Lokesh Khalkho — are matriculate, while another two — Ganesh Lohra and Pushpa Kachchap — are non-matriculates.

Durga Munda has passed Class IX and Sudama Khalkho Class VIII.

Among the 16 to have joined the fray, those with the highest educational qualifications are Naveen Lakra, who has a bachelors degree in architecture, and BJP-backed Asha Lakra, who has MA and BEd degrees.

Sources in the election commission said candidates, who have not provided all information, would be disqualified through the verification process.

The final candidates will get their symbols on June 7 after which campaigning will kick off.

Former mayor Rama Khalkho, who was at the centre of a cash-for-vote scam that led to cancellation of the mayoral polls last year, has also filed nominations. Like last year, the Congress has decided to support her this time too.

Contractors’ gripe

More than two dozen petty contractors resorted to a sit-in demonstration in the chamber of Ranchi Municipal Corporation’s (RMC) CEO Manoj Kumar on Wednesday to protest against pending payments.

The motley group, led by a local BJP leader Sanjay Agrawal and president of RMC Samvedak Sangh Rakesh Choudhary, first demonstrated outside the civic body’s office and then barged into the CEO’s chamber.

They relented only after Kumar assured them speedy disposal of bills.

According to the protesters, payments are delayed for over a month. They alleged that officials and babus want their “cut” in the final payment.

“All of us are petty contractors who work for RMC. These babus often demand 10 to 20 per cent of the final payment,” Choudhary said, adding that around Rs 50 lakh was due.

RMC spokesperson Naresh Sinha, however, brushed away the protest as a petty issue.

“Since most of the officials these days were busy, payments got delayed for a couple of days,” he said