Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot of the Congress is seeking a second term in a state known for its revolving-door policy even as the BJP banks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity to get a majority.
Here are 10 facts about the big story:
- Polling for 199 out of Rajasthan’s 200 seats began at 7 am today, and continued till 6 pm. The election in Sriganganagar’s Karanpur seat has been suspended because of the death of Congress candidate and incumbent MLA Gurmeet Singh Koonar.
- In the 2018 elections, the Congress had fallen just one short of the majority mark by winning 100 seats and the BJP had managed to win 73. The BJP’s tally had fallen from an absolute majority of 163 in 2013.
- The elections are being contested by 1,862 candidates and the total number of voters is 5.25 crore. Of these, 1.71 crore voters are between the ages of 18 and 30, and 22.61 lakh are new voters from the 18-19 age group.
- The Congress is hoping that the magic of Ashok Gehlot, who is known as ‘jadugar’ (magician), its seven guarantees, and welfare measures like the country’s first law for gig workers will get it re-elected in the state.
- Voters in Rajasthan have not given any government a second term since 1993 and the BJP is banking on this as well as Prime Minister Modi’s popularity to return to power. Former chief minister Vasundhara Raje, who is arguably the party’s most popular leader in Rajasthan, has not been declared the chief ministerial face.
- The BJP has been attacking the Congress on issues like crime against women, corruption and the alleged paper leak scams. One of the key planks that the BJP has used against Mr Gehlot is the ‘Red Diary’ which is said to detail irregularities committed by the Chief Minister and was waved in the Assembly by sacked minister Rajendra Gudha.
- The opposition party is also hoping that the feud between Mr Gehlot and his former deputy Sachin Pilot will work in its favour. The differences, which had come to a head in 2020 and flared up earlier this year as well, have been played down by both the chief minister and Mr Pilot in recent weeks.
- Sachin Pilot also issued an appeal to vote for Congress candidates on Friday, which was shared by Ashok Gehlot, in a gesture that was seen as a sign of unity within the Congress. Mr Gehlot had shared the video on X and called Mr Pilot a young leader.
- Seven MPs, including Rajyavardhan Rathore, Diya Kumari, and Kirodi Lal Meena, have been fielded by the BJP for the Assembly elections. Some of the MPs – all of whom were named in the first list – are contesting seats which could have otherwise gone to Vasundhara Raje loyalists. The subsequent lists had several of her supporters named as candidates and were seen as the party’s way of placating her.
- Over 1 lakh security personnel were deployed to ensure peaceful voting in the single-phase election. The counting of votes will take place on December 3.
Article source: ndtv.com