Jaipur: After a high-decibel campaigning, Rajasthan is all set to elect a new state Assembly, voting which will take place on Friday. As many as 2,274 candidates including 187 women are in the fray for 199 out of the 200 assembly constituencies in the state.
According to election officials, polling will take place from 8 am to 5 pm on 7 December in 199 constituencies. The election in Alwar district’s Ramgarh constituency has been postponed due to the death of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate Laxman Singh.
According to the State Election Commission, there are 4,77,89,815 voters in the state among whom, 2,28,28,018 are female and 2,49,61,560 male voters. There are 1,16,944 service voters whereas 15 NRI electors and 222 third gender electors in the state.
Counting will take place on 11 December for Rajasthan and four other states Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, and Mizoram, taking part in this round of Assembly elections.
Elaborate security arrangements have also been made to ensure free and fair polls in the 51,965 polling stations in the state. According to sources, at least 650 companies have been called from outside. Additionally, 134 CRPF companies, 110 BSF companies, 103 CISF companies, 42 ITBP companies, 41 SSB companies and 45 companies of the RPF have been employed to maintain decorum during polling.
Both the BJP and the Congress are locked in a tough fight in Rajasthan, which has not voted the same party to power for more than one term in the last 20 years. The contest is largely bipolar between the BJP and Congress in about 130 seats. A triangular contest may emerge in about 50 other seats, where rebel candidates from both the parties are in the fray, refusing to step down in favour of the official nominees. There are 830 independent candidates as well.
The BJP is contesting on all seats while the Congress has left five seats for its allies. The BSP has fielded 190 candidates, the CPM 28 and the CPI 16. In the current House, the BJP has 160 seats and the Congress 25.
The BJP and the Congress, over the course of their campaigns in the state, sparred over corruption, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s caste and Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s ‘dynasty’. The campaigning ended in Rajasthan on Wednesday and saw Modi and Rahul taking digs at each other over Bharat Mata ki Jai slogans.
Modi addressed two rallies Wednesday, taking his total in the state to 12. BJP president Amit Shah said at a press conference in Jaipur on Wednesday that the party held 15 roadshows and 222 big meetings. Rahul Gandhi addressed nine public meetings.
Incumbent chief minister Vasundhara Raje is contesting from her Jhalrapatan constituency, facing BJP veteran Jaswant Singh’s son Manvendra Singh who has defected to the Congress. She is the BJP’s chief ministerial nominee.
In Tonk, Sachin Pilot is up against Rajasthan transport minister and BJP candidate Yoonus Khan are in the contest. Khan is the only Muslim candidate fielded by the party. Former chief minister Ashok Gehlot is fighting for Sardarpura seat.