Rajasthan records 71.64% turnout in peaceful polling

Top leaders of Congress and BJP get their fingers inked; Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot speaks of undercurrent in favour of Congress while BJP veteran Vasundhara Raje says ‘lotus will bloom’ on the day of election results

November 25, 2023 10:39 pm | Updated 10:39 pm IST - JAIPUR

Voters stand in a queue to cast their votes during the Rajasthan assembly elections, in Jodhpur on Saturday.

Voters stand in a queue to cast their votes during the Rajasthan assembly elections, in Jodhpur on Saturday. | Photo Credit: ANI

Rajasthan recorded a voter turnout of 71.64% in the Assembly election on Saturday with the ruling Congress and the Opposition BJP locking horns in a tightly contested campaign.

The polling passed off peacefully, barring stray incidents of clashes and violence mainly between supporters of the rival parties.

Voting took place across more than 51,000 polling stations in 199 of the 200 Assembly constituencies. The election in Karanpur was postponed following the death of Congress candidate Gurmeet Singh Kooner. The voters who arrived at the polling booths till 6 p.m. were allowed to cast their ballots till late in the evening.

The State had recorded a voter turnout of 74.06% in the 2018 Assembly election. The polling, which started at 7 a.m., was recorded at 71.64% till the closure of gates of polling booths at 6 p.m. The highest turnout of 87.79% was reported from Pokhran in Jaisalmer, followed by 85.15% in Tijara of Alwar and 83.5% in Bari of Dholpur. Among the districts, Jaisalmer recorded the highest of 82.37%, followed by Hanumangarh with 80.31% and Baran with 79.96%. Among the districts, Jaisalmer and Hanumangarh recorded the highest turnout of 76.57% each, followed by Dholpur with 74.11%.

A scuffle broke out at a polling booth in Sardarshahar, where a municipal councillor’s representative alleged that he was assaulted. A policeman and a person were injured in stone throwing at Sanwler village in Deeg district. The police fired 12 rounds in the air to disperse the crowd and detained six persons.

Two groups of supporters of rival parties clashed outside a polling booth in Fatehpur of Sikar, and a police personnel was injured in the violence. Superintendent of Police Paris Deshmukh said seven persons had been detained in connection with the incident. In Bari constituency, two vehicles were damaged and the polling was stopped for some time when a polling agent and an unidentified person had an altercation.

A polling agent of a BJP candidate in Pali and an elderly voter in Udaipur died of cardiac arrest during the day. There were more than 5.25 crore registered voters in the 199 constituencies, while 1,862 candidates were in the fray. First-time voters showed enthusiasm as they queued up at the polling stations since early morning to cast their votes.

‘Undercurrent for Congress’

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, accompanied by his family members, cast his vote at a polling booth in Mahamandir area of his constituency, Sardarpura, in Jodhpur district. Mr. Gehlot told presspersons that there was an undercurrent in favour of the Congress as well as a complete absence of anti-incumbency in the State. “Since the people are voting on our governance, schemes and guarantees, we are confident that the Congress will form the government again,” he said.

BJP State president C.P. Joshi, who cast his ballot in Chittorgarh, said the Congress government, which had failed to deliver on its promises, would get a “befitting reply”. Former Deputy Chief Minister and Congress candidate from Tonk, Sachin Pilot, said after casting his ballot in Jaipur that the people were willing to change the trend of incumbent government being voted out. He said the Congress would form the government again with a comfortable majority.

In Jhalrapatan, senior BJP leader and former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje said that the undercurrent that Mr. Gehlot had indicated was, actually, in favour of the BJP and the “lotus (BJP’s party symbol) will bloom in Rajasthan on December 3”.

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