Rajasthan Assembly Election Result 2018: Rajasthan is witnessing a close contest between the ruling BJP and the Congress as it goes to poll on December 7.
Rajasthan is witnessing a close contest between the ruling BJP and the Congress as it goes to poll on December 7. The state had voted out the Congress government led by Ashok Gehlot in elections held in December 2013, ushering in the rule of Vasundhara Raje. India’s largest state has 200 assembly seats and BJP had swept to power by winning 163 of them. Vasundhara Raje is facing strong anti-incumbency and an invigorated Congress under the leadership of Sachin Pilot. While the opinion polls point to a Congress victory, BJP is hoping that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity will swing the polls in her favour.
Also Read: Rajasthan Election Result 2018 LIVE Updates
Here are some key factors that will decide the outcome of Rajasthan elections:
BJP is fighting double anti-incumbency of five years of Vasundhara Raje’s rule and Four and a half years of Modi government at the Centre. Most of the pre-poll surveys have predicted an easy win for Congress. Unlike her party colleagues Shivraj Singh Chauhan in Madhya Pradesh and Raman Singh in Chhattisgarh, Vasundhara Raje does not have a history of consecutive wins and the BJP’s sweep in 2013 assembly polls was largely attributed to a strong public sentiment against the 10 year of Congress rule at the centre and a pan-India wave of Narendra Modi who had already been appointed the chairman of BJP’s poll campaign committee for 2014 national elections.
Rajasthan has historically been a dry region and it is not known for farming the way Punjab and Haryana. However, due to advent of modern farming, the state started producing onions, garlic and pulses suitable for the climatic conditions. The importance of farm distress as an election issue can be gauged from the fact that Congress president Rahul Gandhi has been raising the issue in almost every election rally. Citing media reports, Congress has been claiming that more than 92 farmers have committed suicide due to farm distress since 2013 when BJP came to power. Regional newspapers have often reported that producers of almost all agricultural produce are under distress.
Chief minister Vasundhara Raje is considered inaccessible even by her close associates. Congress has relentlessly highlighted this issues in its election campaign, asking the people whether they would vote the same person who has become a symbol of arrogance.
High unemployment rate among the state’s youth is an important election issue. In the last election, BJP has promised to create 15 lakh jobs. This time BJP has promised to create 50 lakh jobs and payment of unemployment allowances to every unemployed youth above the age of 21 years.
The Congress has been trying to make the election a contest between former chief minister and veteran Congress leader Ashok Gehlot versus Vasundhara Raje. However, the party is facing infighting among the factions led by Ashok Gehlot and state Congress president Sachin Pilot. The BJP has also been raising the issue of sixty years of Congress rule in the country versus four years of Modi government. BJP is also invoking the issue of Ram temple in Ayodhya to appeal to its core vote bank. BJP’s firebrand leader and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has been campaigning extensively in the state. He has been trying to portray the Congress as a party indulging in appeasement of minorities.