Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who was in Delhi, exuded confidence that Congress would again form the government in Haryana for the third time in a row.

"We are fighting the polls on development plank," he said.

He said that the names of the party candidates would be announced shortly.

Congress General Secretary Shakeel Ahmed also said that development would be the main plank of the Congress.

"Peace and prosperity has prevailed in the state during last about ten years," Ahmed said.

Main opposition INLD's senior leader and MLA Abhay Singh Chautala while welcoming the announcement of the polls in the state, claimed the days of the corrupt and anti-people government were numbered.

"People were eagerly waiting for announcement of poll dates. Congress will be decimated after the polls," he said.

He also claimed that several sops announced by the Hooda government towards the fag end of its tenure, were mere promises which will remain confined to paper.

Chautala said INLD would soon announce the names of remaining candidates, even as it had already declared the names of 73 out of 88 seats it is contesting. In the 90-member assembly, the two seats would be fought by the INLD ally SAD.

BJP, which put up a good performance in the Lok Sabha polls this year winning seven out of the eight seats it contested in the state, is hoping to wrest the power from Congress.

When asked that if time for campaigning would be short this time unlike in the past when poll dates have been announced about 45 days before the polling day, Haryana BJP leader Gian Chand Gupta said, "We are prepared and fully geared up for the elections".

"People are eagerly waiting to bring BJP to power in Haryana," Gupta said.

BJP recently announced its first list of 43 candidates. The party is contesting the assembly polls independently.

Among other players to enter the fray in Haryana this time include former Congress leader Venod Sharma's Jan Chetna Party, former Haryana Minister Gopal Kanda's Haryana Lokhit Party, Haryana Janhit Congress led by Kuldeep Bishnoi, besides Bahujan Samaj Party, which is projecting former Congress MP Arvind Sharma as its chief ministerial candidate.

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