First phase of polling in 20 Lok Sabha constituencies ended on Thursday with an average of 63.25 per cent of 3.48 crore electors casting their votes in Rajasthan at the end of 1800 hrs, the Election Commission said.
“It was mostly incident free poll barring a few incidents of party workers’ altercation and jostling in Bikaner, Ajmer and Jhunjhunu districts outside the booths over voters’ list or supermacy,” said DGP-Law and Order Navdeep Singh.
Over 80,000 security personnel were on duty to ensure free and fair, and incident free polls, DGP claimed. Ganganagar (SC) seat registered highest voter turn out of over 68 per cent, Barmer 65, Ajmer 64, Jhalawar 61.5, Banswara 61.3, Jaipur 61.2, and Rajsamand recorded lowest turn out of 51.22 per cent at the closing of polling.
Final turn out would be clear later to night as it is still being calculate, the EC spokesman said.
The 20 Lok Sabha constituencies where polling was held include: Ganganagar, Bikaner, Churu, Jhunjhunu, Sikar, Jaipur Rural, Jaipur, Ajmer, Nagaur, Pali, Jodhpur, Barmer, Jalore, Udaipur, Banswara, Chittorgarh, Rajsamand, Bhilwara, Kota, and Jhalawar-Baran.
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje, cast her vote at the polling station set up in Topkhana school in Jhalawar.
“I am expecting very good results. We set a mission 25 to win all the parliamentary constituencies in Rajasthan and I hope that we should win all constituencies,” Raje told reporters.
She said UPA government has betrayed people and voters know it hence the results would in the favour of the party. Expelled BJP leader Jaswant Singh cast his vote in his home constituency of Barmer, while Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore exercised his franchise with his wife in Jaipur rural constituency.
Former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot cast his vote with wife and daughter-in-law at Jodhpur, while BJP candidate Col Sonaram contesting against BJP rebel Jaswant Singh, exercised his franchise in Barmer. Coming out of the booth, Gehlot told reporters that it was very dangerous in democratic election that rival party (BJP) was posing as a one man party (NaMo).
Gehlot criticised BJP’s poll campaign in which Modi projected as “is bar Modi sarkar”, alleging individualism would not be accepted by voters.
Electoral fortunes of 239 candidates including 17 women were sealed in the EVMs in Thursday’s polling. Total 38,835 polling stations were set up in the first phase. On the report of a firing incident at Chohtan in Barmer district early this morning, the DGP said it was a rumor and nothing happened of that nature anywhere. BJP and Congress have fielded 20 candidates each, AAP 19, BSP 18, CPM and CPI three each and NCP one. The contestants also include 88 Independents.
Kiran Bedi tried to establish her credentials as a secular, pro-women candidate.