Rajasthan counts votes Sunday
The political fate of 2,087 candidates will be decided Sunday when counting for 199 of Rajasthan's 200 assembly seats takes place.
Polling has been postponed in Churu constituency to Dec 13 due to the death of a Bahujan Samaj Party candidate.
Counting will start at 8 a.m. and most of the results are expected to be out by late afternoon.
The political fate of chief minister and Congress leader Ashok Gehlot, former chief minister and BJP leader Vasundhara Raje, state Congress president Chandrabhan, Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria, Gujjar leader Prahlad Gunjal who is fighting on a BJP ticket and Meena leader Kirori Lal Meena of the National Peoples' Party hangs in the balance.
As per the election commissions's figures Dec 1, over 75 percent of the 40 million voters cast their votes to elect a new government. In 2008, over 66.30 percent of the voters had exercised their franchise.
The assembly elections in 5 states that have been billed as the semi-finals before the national general elections are seen as crucial for both the BJP and the Congress.
While the Congress fought the elections in Rajasthan on the development and social welfare schemes launched by the Ashok Gehlot government, the BJP targeted the Gehlot government on poor governance and corruption.
The BJP in its campaign also raised the issue of the UPA government's failure to control price rise and corruption.
The Congress and the BJP contested all the seats while the National People's Party (NPP), led by Meena community leader Kirori Lal Meena, put up candidates in 150 seats and the BSP in over 100 seats.
Political pundits are of the view that the BJP seems to be gaining seats and the Congress seems to be losing in comparison to the 2008 state assembly elections when the Congress had won 102 seats, including six BSP MLAs who later joined the Congress, and the BJP 79.
The exit polls predict the BJP forming the government in the state with a thumping majority and the Congress losing in a big way. CVoter-Times Now exit poll predicts the BJP getting 130 seats with the Congress bagging only 48 seats in Rajasthan. 'Today's Chanakya' gives a majority to the BJP with 147 seats and only 39 to the Congress.
"Exit polls have proved wrong in the past. I feel that Congress should be able to form the government. The people would vote for us due to work we had undertaken in the last five years," said Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.
Arun Chaturvedi, BJP state vice president, said: "We are confident of forming the government. People have voted against the Congress due to issues including corruption and inflation. They want a strong prime minister like Narendra Modi. We believe that the young voters came out in large numbers to vote against Congress and in favour of Narendra Modi and our chief ministerial candidate Vasundhara Raje."
(Posted on 07-12-2013)