Polling is underway in 199 out of 200 seats in Rajasthan on Friday, which will decide the fate of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje facing a tough challenge from the resurgent Congress, which was decimated in 2013.
Here are the live updates:
Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal stands in line to cast his vote in Bikaner.
Union Minister for Water Resources Arjun Ram Meghwal waiting to cast his vote.
| Photo Credit: © @arjunrammeghwal
21.92% voters have cast their votes till 11:00 a.m. in Rajasthan, according to Chief Electoral Officer.
Rajasthan Chief Electoral Officer reports 6.17% turnout of voters in the first one hour of polling, till 9:00 a.m.
Ashok Gehlot casts vote in Jodhpur. Mr. Gehlot says BJP has sought votes in the name of castes. Congress is going to form next government in Rajasthan, he says.
BJP raised Ram temple issue before election because it knew it had utterly failed in governance. BJP has been exposed, says Mr. Gehlot.
BJP leaders are insensitive. The tragic Bulandshahr incident happened because of BJP government’s failure in U.P.: Mr. Gehlot.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged voters to come out in large numbers and take part in the democratic exercise. Tweeting in Hindi, the Prime Minister voters to vote with full enthusiasm.
Union Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore casts his votes at polling booth 252 in Vaishali Nagar, Jaipur.
Rajasthan Congress president Sachin Pilot arrives at polling booth in Jalupura locality of Jaipur to cast his vote. He is the Congress candidate in Tonk, pitted against BJP’s Yunus Khan.
Mr. Pilot says Congress will form government with absolute majority. We have already declared our resolve for people’s welfare, he says.
BJP regime was the “government of arrogant people”. It is set to be defeated. People are fed up, says Pilot.
Tonk, with a sizeable Muslim population, is a keenly-watched contest since it’s between the State Congress chief and the BJP’s only Muslim face in the elections.
Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria casts his vote in Udaipur. He offered prayers at a Shiv temple in Udaipur before casting his vote.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje arrives at polling booth in Jhalrapatan to cast her vote. This is the vote for development. We have worked hard. I am confident of people’s support, says Ms. Raje.
Ms. Raje, who is the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate, is fighting against veteran BJP leader Jaswant Singh’s son Manvendra Singh in Jhalrapatan, the constituency she has represented since 2003.
Manvendra Singh switched to the Congress just before the election, making the fight tougher for Raje this time. She had won 63 per cent of the votes cast in 2013, winning the seat by a margin of 60,896.
Polling began for 199 seats at 8:00 am.
Over 4.74 crore registered voters will exercise their franchise, with 1.44 lakh security personnel having been deployed at the polling booths and in the sensitive areas.
Votes will be cast at 51,687 polling booths, 259 of which will be managed exclusively by the women staff and security personnel. More than two lakh electronic voting machines (EVMs) will be used in the election, while the voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines would be attached to them for the first time in the State, Chief Electoral Officer Anand Kumar said in Jaipur.
Election in Alwar district’s Ramgarh seat has been postponed following the death of Bahujan Samaj Party candidate Laxman Singh.