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Rajasthan assembly polls 2023: A look at key constituencies, contestants

ANI | Updated: Nov 24, 2023 22:03 IST

Jaipur (Rajasthan) [India], November 24 (ANI): After the high-voltage election campaign in Rajasthan, people are all set to vote for assembly elections on Saturday.
Polling will be held in 199 out of 200 constituencies from 7 am to 6 pm, while the counting of votes will be taken up on December 3.
Due to the death of the Congress candidate in Sriganganagar's Karanpur seat, Gurmeet Singh Koonar, who is also the sitting MLA, the election in this constituency has been adjourned.
A total of 5,26,90,146 voters will decide the fate of 1,875 candidates, including 183 female contestants, at a total of 51,507 polling stations in the assembly constituencies.
Among the constituencies, all eyes will be on Sardarpura, Tonk, Jhalarapatan, Nathdwara, Jhunjhunu, Jhotwara, and Churu among others.
Sardarpura is on the list of key constituencies as Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has won this seat since 1998. The Bharatiya Janata Party has fielded Mahendra Singh Rathore from the Congress' bastion.
The Bharatiya Janata Party candidate and former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje is contesting from Jhalarapatan. The party's heavyweight has been winning the seat since 2003 from here. In 2018, she secured 54 per cent votes, defeating then-Congress leader Manvendra Singh, who is now the BJP's candidate from the Siwana constituency, which was earlier a part of Barmer and is now included in the newly formed Balotra district.
Among the highly discussed seats is Tonk, where Congress' prominent leader and former Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan Sachin Pilot will take on BJP's Ajit Singh Mehta. In 2018, Pilot defeated the BJP's Yoonus Khan by a margin of 54,179 votes.
Moreover, Rajasthan Congress president Govind Singh Dotasra has been pitted against BJP's Subhash Mehria in the Lachhmangarh constituency.
From Udaipur, a BJP's stronghold since 2003, the fight will be between Tarachand Jain and Congress' Gourav Vallabh, who has been famous as the Congress party's national spokesperson.
In Jhotwara constituency, BJP has fielded former Union Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore against Congress' Abhishek Choudhary. In 2018, Congress candidate Lalchand Katariya defeated Rathore in this seat.
Another key constituency would be Nathdwara, from where the BJP has fielded Vishwaraj Singh Mewar, a descendant of Maharana Pratap Singh, against Congress veteran CP Joshi, the current speaker of the Rajasthan Assembly.
In Jhunjhunu, three-term MLA and Congress leader Brijendra Ola will take on his rival BJP's Nishit Kumar. In 2018, Ola secured victory with 76,177 votes.
Another key Assembly segment to feature in the list is the Churu constituency, currently represented by the incumbent BJP MLA Rajendra Rathore, who is the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajasthan Assembly.
This time, the BJP has fielded Harlal Saharan from the constituency against Congress' Rafiq Mandelia.
Notably, the BJP has fielded Rathore from the Taranagar constituency this time.
Moreover, the BJP has decided to field the Lok Sabha MP from Alwar, Mahant Balaknath, from Tijara constituency, against Congress candidate Imran Khan.
Many rebel candidates of BJP and Congress withdrew their names after persuasion.
But still, around 45 rebel candidates from both parties are in the fray. These also include MLAs, former MLAs and party officials.
Jhotwara has the highest 18 candidates, followed by Rajgarh-Laxmangarh and Pushkar with 17 each. The lowest number three are contesting in Lalsot. This time 419 candidates are contesting less as compared to the last election.
A total of 2,294 candidates contested the assembly elections held in 2018.
Earlier in the day, Chief Electoral Officer Praveen Gupta said that polling stations have been set up at a total of 36,101 places in the state.
"A total of 10,501 polling stations have been set up in urban areas and 41,006 in rural areas. Live webcasting will be conducted at a total of 26,393 polling stations. These polling centres will be monitored from the district-level control room. Across the state, 65,277 ballot units, 62,372 control units and 67,580 VVPAT machines including reserves will be used for voting," he said.
The Chief Electoral Officer said that a total of 1,02,290 security personnel have been deployed to ensure peaceful voting. A total force of 69,114 police personnel, 32,876 Rajasthan Home Guard, Forest Guard and RAC personnel have been deployed and 700 companies of CAPF have been deployed.
In 2018, the Congress won 99 seats, while the BJP won 73. Gehlot assumed the CM position with the support of BSP MLAs and independents. (ANI)