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Rajasthan Elections: Polling Underway for 199 Assembly Seats; Gehlot Confident

Polling in the Karanpur constituency in Sriganganagar has been postponed due to the death of the Congress candidate.
People stand in queues to cast their votes for the Rajasthan Assembly elections, in Bikaner, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023.

People stand in queues to cast their votes for the Rajasthan Assembly elections, in Bikaner, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023. Image Courtesy: PTI

Jaipur: Nearly 25 per cent of the electorate cast their votes in the first four hours of voting in Rajasthan on Saturday, as polling in 199 Assembly constituencies in the state began at 7 a.m.

The voting percentage till 11 a.m was 24.74, an official said.

Till 11 a.m, the highest polling of 38.56% was recorded in the Kaman assembly constituency and 34.08% in Tijara, the official said.

Voting will continue till 6 p.m.

More than 5.25 crore voters will decide the fate of 1,862 candidates in these 199 seats.

Polling in the Karanpur assembly constituency in Sriganganagar has been postponed due to the death of the Congress candidate. The votes will be counted on December 3.

No Anti-Incumbency: Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot

In Jodhpur, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said there was no anti-incumbency against the Congress and the party would form the government in the state again.

"There seems to be an undercurrent. Looks like the (Congress) government will be repeated," he said as voting got underway in the state.

Gehlot told PTI that the Congress focused its campaign on development issues while BJP leaders, including the Prime Minister, home minister and chief ministers of BJP-ruled states, used provocative language.

"The public has understood. It appears that the Congress government will come again,” he said.

"We made good laws for the welfare of gig workers and on right to health and brought schemes for people and gave guarantees," he said.

The Congress has given seven guarantees, or promises, to people if the party retains power in the state, including an annual honorarium of Rs 10,000 to the woman head of a family and LPG cylinders for Rs 500 to 1.05 crore families.

Citing the example of Kerala, he said that the government there was repeated based on its work for the management of the coronavirus pandemic and in Rajasthan also, the Congress government did excellent work on this front.

Asked why the BJP was targeting only him over various issues such as the "red diary", he said BJP leaders are upset that they could not topple his government despite indulging in horse-trading. A sacked minister had claimed that the "red diary" contained financial dealings of the chief minister.

"They are bringing down elected governments through horse-trading. The method they have adopted is a matter of concern for democracy. We tried our best in Rajasthan and did not let the government fall. The public was with us," Gehlot said.

The chief minister said the language the BJP leaders used was unacceptable.

"They were talking provocatively. We challenged them to talk on local issues, talk on our schemes,” he said.

Asked whether he will be the chief minister if the Congress forms the government again, he said that it is a tradition in the Congress that the AICC sends observers to take opinion of MLAs and then a resolution is passed, leaving all things for the high command and the decision of the high command is acceptable to all.

He asserted that all leaders in the Congress were united.

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