IANS

Polling underway in Rajasthan to elect new Assembly (Lead)

Jaipur, Dec 7 (IANS) Polling was underway in Rajasthan on Friday to elect a new state Assembly amid tight security.

Voting began at 8 a.m., and will continue till 5 p.m.

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.

“Unlike any other parties, BJP workers have worked tirelessly. I feel that the party has done a lot in the state and that the voter can also feel the same,” Raje said.

Reacting on former Union Minister Sharad Yadav’s remark that Raje should rest as she has become fat, the Chief Minister said: “I am absolutely shocked because I don’t think any leader with such an experience and who had a very close relations with our family can say such a thing.

“One needs to keep their language in control… And I think to set an example for the future it is very important that the Election Commission takes cognigence of things like this so that people do not repeat something similar in the future.

“And also I don’t see it being used, its particularly against women. So I actually feel insulted and women are insulted.”

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.

“The issue is about the development of Rajasthan, a five year period where people have been dissatisfied. They are voting for a change and that’s what the Congress party offers.”

The contest in Rajasthan is mainly between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress.

In Rajasthan, the BJP is fighting anti-incumbency to retain power.

About 4.74 crore people will decide the fate of 2,274 candidates in the fray for the 200-member Assembly.

Out of 2,274 candidates — 189 women are contesting for 199 out of the 200 assembly constituencies.

The BJP is contesting on all seats while the Congress has left five seats for its allies.

The Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has fielded 190, the Communist Party of India-Marxist 28 and the Communist Party of India 16 candidates. There are 830 Independent candidates.

Election in Alwar district’s Ramgarh constituency has been postponed due to the death of BSP candidate Laxman Singh.

–IANS
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