Rajasthan Assembly election Live Updates: Polling to begin shortly; it’s make or break contest for BJP, Congress

Rajasthan Assembly election Live Updates: Vasundhara Raje, Sachin Pilot

Rajasthan Assembly election Live Updates: After a high-octane election campaign by political heavyweights, mainly from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress, polling is set to take place for Rajasthan Assembly Election today. While BJP is looking to debunk the anti-incumbency factor, Congress wrest the control of the state which has 25 Lok Sabha seats. Voters will exercise their franchise in 51,687 polling booths across 199 assembly seats. As per reports, there is a direct face-off between BJP and Congress in as many as 130 seats. However, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and rebels who are contesting against official party candidates may prove to be a game-changer.

Incumbent Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has exuded confidence that she would be elected as the state’s chief minister once again. Congress, on the other hand, Congress has played cards close to chest. If it wins, the party is likely to choose between former chief minister Ashok Gehlot and state party president Sachin Pilot for the top post in the state. In the legislative assembly House, the BJP has 160 seats and the Congress 25. The magnitude of the Rajasthan polls can be gauged from the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed 12 rallies and Congress president Rahul Gandhi has attended nine in the state.

The BJP has fielded candidates for all 199 seats and the Congress for 194. For the five remaining seats, the Congress is in alliance with other parties. The BSP fielded 190 candidates, the CPI (M) 28 and CPI 16.

Election officials said 2,274 candidates are contesting in Rajasthan which has 4.74 crore registered voters. About 1.44 lakh security personnel have been deployed for polling day. “More than two lakh electronic voting machines (EVMs) and verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines will be used in the elections,” chief electoral officer Anand Kumar said Thursday. He said it was for the first time that VVPAT machines are being used in Rajasthan. Of the total 4,74, 37,761 registered voters, 2.27 crore are women and 20,20,156 are registered as first-time voters, Kumar told reporters.

Incumbent Rajasthan and BJP’s face in the state Vasundhara Raje is contesting from Jhalrapatan constituency, considered her bastion. This time her opponent is Manvendra Singh, son of BJP veteran Jaswant Singh. Manvendra Singh has defected to the Congress, complaining that his old party had hurt the pride of the Rajputs by ignoring his father in the last Lok Sabha election. In Tonk, Sachin Pilot and Rajasthan Transport Minister and BJP candidate Yoonus Khan are face to face. Khan is the only Muslim candidate fielded by his party. Ashok Gehlot is fighting for the Sardarpura seat.

Among the five assembly elections, Telangana and Rajasthan are the last states to go to the poll. Polling has already been held in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram. The counting for all states is on December 11. The BJP has fielded candidates for all 199 seats and the Congress for 194. For the five remaining seats, the Congress is in alliance with other parties. The BSP fielded 190 candidates, the CPI (M) 28 and CPI 16. Of the total 4,74, 37,761 registered voters, 2.27 crore are women and 20,20,156 are registered as first-time voters, according to reports.

Source: Financial Express