About 60 per cent of the electorate cast their votes during polling for 46 civic bodies spread across 24 districts of Rajasthan on Monday amid stray incidents of clashes between supporters of various candidates at three places. It was the first major showdown between the Congress and the BJP since the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year.
The voters exercised franchise twice for electing municipal councillors as well as directly choosing the Mayors of four Municipal Corporations, chairpersons of 11 Municipal Councils and heads of 31 municipalities. A total of 6,449 candidates were in the race, while 1,612 wards went for voting.
Voting began on a dull note in the morning due to the cold weather in most of the cities but picked up as the day progressed. State Election Commissioner A. K. Pandey said here that 11.48 per cent %polling was reported till 10 a.m., 34.12 per cent till 1 p.m., 49.45 per cent till 3 p.m., and an estimated 60 per cent by the time the polling ended at 5 p.m.
The polling percentage during the previous civic body polls in the State in 2004 was 55.96. Mr. Pandey said the complaints received from the polling booths were mostly about names missing from electoral rolls, voters not bringing their identity cards and the electronic voting machines developing snags at 25 places.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot told reporters after casting his vote at Mahamandir in Jodhpur that the people, “impressed by the performance of the Congress-led Government” in the State during the past 11 months, would ensure the party’s victory in the municipal bodies.