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Rajasthan Assembly Polls: 2096 candidates to compete for 199 seats
Sunday November 17, 2013 12:40 PM, IANS

A total of 2096 candidates will be fighting the Dec 1 elections for 199 seats of the Rajasthan assembly, officials said Sunday.

A senior officer of the Election Commission of Rajasthan told IANS that it will decide the date for election in one constituency where th epoll was countermanded following the death of a BSP candidate.

"A total of 618 candidates withdrew their nominations," the officer said. The last date for withdrawals was Saturday.

As many as 32 candidates are in the fray in the Adarsh Nagar constituency in Jaipur, while only three are contesting in Sujangarh in Churu district, the lowest number of contestants in a constituency.

The main contest is between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which have fielded candidates in all constituencies.

The newly-formed National People's Party is fighting for the spoils for the first time in the state and has fielded 150 candidates, while the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has limited its fight to just over 100 seats.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is confident of the Congress party returning to power with a thumping majority.

"I am confident that Congress, with the kind of the work the government has done in the last fice years, will return to power with a big majority," Gehlot said.

Vasundhara Raje, former chief minister and state president of the BJP, claimed her party will win the state elections because of misrule and corruption of the Congress government.

However, the National People's Party (NPP), which is headed by Kirorilal Meena, hopes to be the king-maker.

"We are confident of doing very well in polls this time," said Sunil Bhargava, state president of the NPP.

"The Congress and the BJP are the major political parties and the fight is mainly between them. However, NPP has fielded some of the rebels from both the political parties and may hurt both of the major parties in at least in 10-20 constituencies," said R.K Goswami, a political watcher.

"Rebel factor may hurt both the parties, and both are facing problems in at least in 30-40 odd constituencies," he said.

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