The counting of votes will be done on December 3, along with Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Telangana.
Since 1993, no CM has won two consecutive terms. Gehlot is counting on his welfare schemes, but faces a tough fight
Where they stand
For 30 years now, Rajasthan has never voted the governing party back to office.Congress will have to fight this jinx as well as anti-incumbency. Early this year, it hired a publicity firm to burnish its image. It also hopes to cash in on a host of social welfare schemes and freebies launched by the government. But CMAshok Gehlot, an amateur magician, will have to tackle internal divisions and make sure that the Sachin Pilot camp does not play spoiler.
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It is relying on public support for PM Narendra Modi. Unlike in the past four assembly polls, this time the party has refrained from projecting Vasundhara Raje as its CM face. The party has been building a momentum against the governing Congress over the law and order situation, corruption, communal flare-ups and women’s security. The RSS, BJP’s ideological parent, has been able to penetrate the rural belts.
Paper Leaks: In the last 5 years, there have been paper leaks in 14 recruitment exams. Over 1 crore youths took these exams and resent that their hard work came to nought. PM Narendra Modi has been raising this issue at every rally
Law And Order: Street crime, gang wars, extortion, crimes against women have shot up. Rajasthan topped in rapes in 2021. Recently, a minor girl was gang-raped and burnt alive in Bhilwara. Her charred remains were recovered from different places.
Polarisation: Communal tensions were common, especially in festival seasons. The beheading of a tailor in Udaipur by religious fanatics in June 2022 made headlines. When Rajasthan HC acquitted all accused in the 2008 Jaipur bomb blasts due to a shoddy probe, Congress faced charges of appeasement.
Corruption: Both of Jaipur’s mayors were suspended as their husbands were allegedly involved in bribery cases. IAS and IPS officers were caught by the anti-corruption bureau. Revenue officials like patwaris, tehsildars in rural areas and babus in civic bodies were arrested for bribery.
Ashok Gehlot | Congress
The 72-year-old veteran is hoping to create history by becoming CM for a fourth term. Gehlot has been working tirelessly and in the past 5 years has amply displayed his political prowess by derailing competitor Sachin Pilot’s plans to overthrow him.
Vasundhara Raje | BJP
BJP has decided not to project the 70-year-old former royal as its CM face. An upset Raje has skipped the party’s Parivartan Sankalp Yatra in the districts which, the opposition says, saw a low turnout. If she is pacified, it will help BJP.
Sachin Pilot | Congress
The 46-year-old’s resentment over losing the CM post to Gehlot was clear from day one. In July 2020, that led to a rebellion, but Gehlot stayed unscathed. Pilot enjoys the backing of Gujjars, who are dominant in east Rajasthan and can swing polls.
Watch Assembly Election 2023: BJP releases list of Candidates for Rajasthan, MP and Chhattisgarh, Know who is in, Who is out