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Posted at: Dec 7, 2018, 1:29 AM; last updated: Dec 7, 2018, 1:29 AM (IST)

Rajasthan votes today, reputations at stake

Vasundhara Raje, Gehlot, Pilot in fray | Test of Shekhawat, Jaswant Singh’s legacy
Rajasthan votes today, reputations at stake
Election officials collect EVMs in Jaipur. PTI

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 6

Rajasthan will vote tomorrow in a keenly contested electoral battle with several big reputations, including that of incumbent Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and former CM Ashok Gehlot, at stake.

On the eve of elections, voters are keeping their cards close to the chest keeping the ruling BJP and the Opposition Congress confused and guessing.

Although Congress managers claim they will win a comfortable majority based on the trend of alternate governments in the state, the ground sentiment is hard to tell, making the election close.

The BJP for its part is hoping to ride home on the strength of PM Narendra Modi’s popularity and its organisation. It has divided Rajasthan into 51,000 booths with teams installed in each.

On the line will be the might of Raje, who is facing a severe anti-incumbency, which the BJP central leadership has fought hard to beat.

On the Congress side, all eyes are on AICC general secretary Ashok Gehlot and state party chief Sachin Pilot to see whether they can maintain the trend of alternate governments in the favour of Congress.

Gehlot is contesting from Jodhpur’s Sardarpura where he is the sitting lawmaker and Pilot is fighting his first state election in Tonk against Raje’s number two Yunus Khan, a minister in Rajasthan.

Khan, who had eyed a different seat, is contesting to save his political career after the BJP fielded him to counter Pilot in an area that’s not his den. Khan is the sole BJP Muslim candidate in the fray.

In Jhalawar Lok Sabha segment close to Kota, the political legacy of former NDA stalwart and minister Jaswant Singh is again on test as his son Manvendra Singh is fighting a tough election against Raje on the Congress ticket. Locals feel Manvendra could meet the fate of his father who fought the Barmer LS election in 2014 as an Independent after being denied the BJP ticket, and lost.

In Jaipur parliamentary segment, two relatives of former Vice-President and late BJP titan Bhairon Singh Shekhawat are in the fray in what’s being seen across the state as a test of his legacy.

Vidyadhar Assembly constituency in Jaipur has Shekhawat’s son-in-law Narpat Singh Rajvi as the BJP candidate against Congress’ Sitaram Agarwal. Rajvi is a two-term MLA defending the segment for the third time.

Close by in Jaipur city, Pratap Singh, the nephew of Shekhawat, is challenging BJP’s sitting MLA and minister Arun Choudhry in a difficult electoral duel.

Another star segment under watch would be Ladpura in Kota where former Congress MP and erstwhile Kota royal Ijay Raj Singh is canvassing for his wife who got a BJP ticket after he switched sides upon being denied a Congress ticket himself.

Conspicuous by her absence in tomorrow’s elections will be the princess of Jaipur royalty Diya Kumari who has been denied ticket by the BJP from Sawai Madhopur this time.

  • 51,796 polling booths set up in 199 constituencies
  • 2,274 candidates in fray
  • 4.74 crore voters include 
  • 2.28 crore females
  • 1.14 lakh cops, including 
  • 48,000 paramilitary men, deployed


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