New Delhi: Voting for the 200 member Rajasthan assembly and 119 member Telangana assembly began on Friday. This election coming ahead of the 2019 general elections, is being seen to have key stakes for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress.
In Rajasthan, there is a direct contest between the BJP and Congress. The BJP, which came to power in 2013 after winning 163 seats, is banking on development in the election campaign. The state has had a trend of changing governments every five years since 1993. This election saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi also hold more than 10 public meetings in the state. The Congress is trying to corner the BJP on issues of unemployment, farm distress and anti-incumbency against chief minister Vasundhara Raje.
There are approximately 2,274 candidates including 189 women in the fray for 199 out of the 200 assembly constituencies in the state. Rajasthan has an electorate of 4.77 crore.
Voting is being held in 199 seats in Rajasthan after election in Alwar’s Ramgarh district was postponed due to the death of Bahujan Samaj Party’s candidate.
In the 7 December polls, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), which won the previous 2014 elections, hopes to come back to power. The party won won 63 seats in 2014, will win close to 100 of the 119 seats.
However, the Congress-led grand alliance comprising the Telugu Desam Party, Communist Party of India and Telangana Jana Samithi, are expected to give TRS supremo (and caretaker chief minister) K. Chandrashekhar Rao a tough fight. The election is also a do-or-die situation for the TDP, which might be wiped out of the state if it fails to win at least some of the 13 seats it is contesting. The Congress is also looking to return to power after it lost in 2014.
Over 2.80 crore electorate are eligible to exercise their franchise in the State, which has over 1800 candidates contesting elections.
Counting for the two states will be held with the states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram on 11 December.
Yunus Lasania in Hyderabad and PTI contributed to this story.