Heavyweights Bengal find themselves in tough group, clubbed with Punjab, Odisha and Delhi in Santosh Trophy groupings that were unveiled here on Wednesday.
Defending champions Karnataka, runners-up Meghalaya along with hosts Arunachal Pradesh were exempted from playing the first group stage.
In the final group stage, 12 teams will be divided into two groups that will determine the semifinalists.
The Groups Group A: Jammu & Kashmir, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Goa and Kerala.
Group B: Odisha, Bengal, Punjab, Ladakh, Haryana and Delhi.
Group C: Tamil Nadu, Manipur, Nagaland, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
Group D: Chandigarh, Railways, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Bihar.
Group E: Mizoram, Services, Pondicherry, Dadra Nagar Haveli & Daman Diu, Uttarakhand and Sikkim.
Group F: Andaman & Nicobar, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tripura, Telangana and Lakshwadeep.
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