As the electorate of Rajasthan gears up to decide the fate of the BJP and the Congress in the State, the two main parties have made last-ditch attempts at wooing voters.

The Congress, on its part, started the morning with a shock-and-awe move, with a banner advertisement in two leading Hindi newspapers that read like a news headline.

Vidhan Sabha chunavon mein Congress ko badhat, sameekaran badle [Congress gets lead in Assembly elections, equations change],” read the advertisement in Dainik Bhaskar.

Vikas ki Ganga ab Congress ki leher me badli [the ‘Ganga’ of development turns into a Congress wave),” read another similarly placed banner advertisement in Rajasthan Patrika.

The fine print confirmed them to be advertisements by the Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee.

While people were surprised to see the advertisements, the BJP was not pleased.

“It seemed like a news headline and an opinion of the people or the newspapers,” BJP spokesperson Kailash Nath Bhatt said.

A party delegation met chief election officer Ashok Jain and requested him to issue a clarification on behalf of the Election Commission that the banner ads were not news items.

On its part, the BJP ended the day with a slight teaser of its own, by way of a reaction to the diesel price hike, promising people that it would “remove these problems” if it came to power.

“The Congress party has realised it is losing the elections and has hiked the price of diesel by 50 paise and stopped supply of LPG cylinders till Monday, knowing well that today was the last day of getting subsidised cylinders,” said Mr. Bhatt.

“The BJP condemns these steps and assure the people that if our government comes to power, we will remove these problems,” he added.

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