Jaipur, Dec 7 (IANS) Close to 23 per cent polling was recorded in the first three hours of the Rajasthan Assembly elections on Friday.
According to the state Chief Electoral Officer’s office here, 22.77 per cent of over 4.74 crore voters had cast their votes by 11 a.m.
The polling, which began on a dull note at 8 a.m., picked up speed in the last two hours.
Voting will continue till 5 p.m. Long queues of voters, including women, were seen, especially in rural areas.
There are 2,274 candidates in the fray for the 200-member Assembly. Of them, 189 women are contesting in 199 constituencies.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is fighting anti-incumbency to retain power, is contesting on all seats while the Congress has left five seats for its allies.
The election in Alwar district’s Ramgarh constituency has been postponed due to the death of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate Laxman Singh.
The Mayawati-led BSP has fielded 190 candidates, the Communist Party of India-Marxist 28 and the Communist Party of India 16 candidates. There are 830 Independent candidates.
Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje voted at a polling booth at her Jhalrapatan constituency in Jhalawar district, while Union Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Congress leader Sachin Pilot exercised their franchise at a polling booth in Jaipur.
After casting her vote, Raje told the media: “I think people have seen the kind of work that has taken place in Rajasthan and I think they will go out and vote for development.”
She said that this vote was for development of the state.
Pilot after casting his vote said that the Congress has done well in the state and there was a wave in party’s favour.
“There are people who never visited the state and have come only for campaigning. The state has suffered a lot under Raje,” Pilot said.
Counting of votes will take place on December 11.