Twelve candidates are in the fray for the October 21 byelections to Khinvsar and Mandawa Assembly seats in Rajasthan after the withdrawal of nominations on Thursday. A keen contest is on the cards between the ruling Congress and the BJP-Rashtriya Loktantrik Party alliance which had won the Nagaur seat in this year’s Lok Sabha election.Elected to LSThe Congress had lost both the Jat-dominated Assembly constituencies in the 2018 election and the seats became vacant after the sitting MLAs were elected to the Lok Sabha. Mandawa MLA Narendra Khichar won as the BJP MP from Jhunjhunu, while RLP MLA from Khinvsar, Hanuman Beniwal, supported by the BJP, won from Nagaur.Chief Electoral Officer Anand Kumar said here on Friday that three candidates were in fray in Khinvsar and nine in Mandawa. There are four independents contesting from Mandawa and one from Khinvsar.Nagaur MP Mr. Hanuman Beniwal’s younger brother Narayan Beniwal has filed his nomination as RLP candidate, supported by the BJP, in Khinvsar, while the Congress has fielded former Minister Harendra Mirdha. The BJP has fielded Sushila Sigra, who has crossed over from the Congress, in Mandawa, and the Congress’ candidate at the seat is Rita Chaudhary, daughter of veteran party leader, the late Ram Narayan Chaudhary.While Ankur Sharma will contest as an independent from Khinvsar, the candidates for the Mandawa seat include Ambedkarite Party of India’s Durga Prasad Meena, Rashtriya Swarna Dal’s Beni Prasad Kaushik and Independents Ganesh Kumar Joshi, Pratap Singh Khyali, Satyaveer Singh Krishnia, Subhash Khareshiya and Altif.Star campaigners Both the Congress and the BJP have released the lists of their star campaigners. The Congress’s list included former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Ghulam Nabi Azad were conspicuous by their absence.The BJP’s list of 40 leaders, included the party’s working president J.P. Nadda, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Gurdaspur MP Sunny Deol.