It\’s Ashok Gehlot Vs Narendra Modi As Rajasthan Votes Today

The Chief Minister of Rajasthan from the Congress party, Ashok Gehlot, is seeking reelection for a second term in a state known for its frequent change in leadership, while the BJP relies on the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to secure a majority.

Voting for 199 out of Rajasthan\’s 200 seats is set to take place from 7 am to 6 pm today. Unfortunately, the election in Sriganganagar\’s Karanpur seat has been postponed due to the untimely demise of Congress candidate and incumbent MLA Gurmeet Singh Koonar.

In the 2018 elections, the Congress fell just one seat short of the majority mark with 100 seats, while the BJP secured 73 seats. The BJP\’s tally had dropped from an absolute majority of 163 in 2013.

The elections feature 1,862 candidates, with a total of 5.25 crore voters. Among these, 1.71 crore voters are aged between 18 and 30, and 22.61 lakh are new voters in the 18-19 age group.

The Congress is placing its bets on the charisma of Ashok Gehlot, known as the \’jadugar\’ (magician), along with its seven guarantees and welfare measures, including the country\’s first law for gig workers, to secure another term.

Since 1993, voters in Rajasthan haven\’t granted any government a second term, and the BJP is banking on this historical trend and Prime Minister Modi\’s popularity to return to power. Notably, former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, arguably the party\’s most popular leader in Rajasthan, has not been declared the chief ministerial face.

The BJP has been criticizing the Congress on issues such as crime against women, corruption, and alleged paper leak scams. A focal point against Mr. Gehlot is the \’Red Diary,\’ which purportedly details irregularities committed by the Chief Minister.

The opposition party also hopes that the past feud between Mr. Gehlot and his former deputy Sachin Pilot will work in its favor. Despite previous differences, both leaders have played down the issues in recent weeks.

Sachin Pilot issued an appeal to vote for Congress candidates on Friday, a gesture shared by Ashok Gehlot, seen as a sign of unity within the Congress. Seven MPs, including Rajyavardhan Rathore, Diya Kumari, and Kirodi Lal Meena, are contesting for the BJP in the Assembly elections.

To ensure peaceful voting in the single-phase election, over 1 lakh security personnel have been deployed, with the vote counting scheduled for December 3.

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