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Battle For Rajasthan : Can Vasundhara Raje Hold Off The Challenge From Sachin Pilot’s Congress ?

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Rajasthan assembly polls scheduled later this year is an acid test for incumbent Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Raje. She has been at the hot seat earlier , the first stint from 2003 – 2008 and now the second stint from 2013 . Thus becoming the first woman to do .

The chief minister Vasundhara Raje this time faces anti- incumbency and a strong challenge from the Congress. BJP president Amit Shah though is not bothered about the Congress challenge. Shah had said that despite lynching incidents, the party would win at the polls. The CM had to face a tough time when her links with former IPL chief Lalit Modi came to the fore but she weathered that storm. According to BJP chief Amit Shah , Vasundhara Raje would be the CM candidate of the party again.

The Congress on the other hand with state party unit chief Sachin Pilot and seasoned Ashok Gehlot are leaving no stone unturned to upset the BJP. Who will be the party’s CM candidate ? It has not been disclosed. The party is sticking to it’s line of high command diktat again. Will it work.? In an ear where faces matter it remains to be seen whether the Congress gamble pays – off or not. No having a CM candidate to take on Raje could give the BJP the edge in the forthcoming polls.

But then nobody knows the mind of the voter. All one can do is keep the fingers crossed and wait for the outcome to unfold

The state results are crucial going to the Lok Sabha polls in 2019. A win for the BJP would be s hot in their arm to regain power at the Centre , while a loss could hit their plans. For the Congress it is battle for survival. A win here would bolster their 2019 power bid at the Centre , galvanise the demoralised party , but a loss would mean major set- back to its revival plans.

What happened in 2013- Assembly Polls

Polling was held on 1 December in 199 assembly seats out of 200 seats. Churu constituency polling was postponed to December 13 due to death of BSP candidate Jagdish Meghwal.

INC and BJP contested on all 200 seats while BSP on 195 seats. 38 CPI(M), 23 CPI, 16 NCP, 666 other parties candidates and 758 Independents were also in foray. Over 4.08 crore voters including 1.92 crore women were eligible to exercise their vote. There were 47,223 polling booths. Total voting turnout was 74.38%, the highest ever in state assembly election. The highest turnout (85.52%) was recorded at Jaisalmer and the lowest (55.21%) at Bharatpur.

BJP rode to power with a thumping majority . It won 163 out of 200 . The Indian National Congress won a mere 21 . Independednts won 7, Bahujan Samaj Party won 3, CPI ( M), Samajwadi party and JD ( U) failed to open their account.

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Picture Courtesy : DNA India

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