In the following passage some words have been deleted. Fill in the blanks with the help of the alternatives given. Select the most appropriate option for each blank.
The political condition of India in the eighteenth century was one of extreme disunity (1)______ the decline of the Mughal empire, no(2)______ Indian power emerged to take its (3)______ in strength and prestige and to unite the (4)______ under a central authority. The Marathas who rose (5)______ the position of pre-eminence among the new Indian states did not prove capable of fulfilling that task.
Select the most appropriate option for blank No. 1