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Bharatiya  Janata Party(BJP) on Sunday(11 November) declared a list of 131 candidates with 25 new faces  for Rajasthan assembly elections scheduled for Dec 7.

Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje will contest from Jhalrapatan, a seat she has represented since 2003. However, a number of sitting legislators have been dropped or shifted. For instance, sitting Minister Surendra Goyal was dropped while senior leader Devi Singh Bhati’s daughter- in-law Poonam Kanwar was given the ticket.

Kailash Meghwal, the speaker in the outgoing Rajasthan assembly, has been shifted from Shahpura in Bhilwara district to Pilani in Jhunjhunu district.

Addressing a press conference in Delhi, union minister JP Nadda said the party was issuing a list of 131 candidates in which there were 12 women, 32 youth, 17 SC and 19 ST candidates. There are 85 sitting MLAs and 25 new faces in the list, he added, according to the reports. Media reports were silent about the remaining 21 candidates.

“Party candidates for all the seats were discussed in the meeting. Names of other nominees will be announced soon,” Nadda told reporters.

The BJP is facing a strong challenge from a resurgent Congress in the state with the opposition party winning a number of by-polls in the last couple of years.

A number of opinion polls have also given an edge to the Congress but the BJP insists that it will be able to repulse the opposition’s challenge.

The BJP under Raje won a whopping 163 of the 200 assembly seats in the state in 2013, giving the Congress its worst ever drubbing at its hands.

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Filing of nominations will begin from Monday and continue till November 19. Polling will be held on December 7.

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