Amid sporadic violence,nearly 75 per cent voters Sunday exercised their franchise in Rajasthan Assembly polls to decide the fate of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his bete noire BJP’s Vasundhra Raje among others.
The turnout was 74.38 per cent,the highest-ever in the desert state,the Election Commission said. The fate of 2,087 candidates,including Gehlot and Raje,was sealed in the Electronic Voting Machines after the exercise which saw police firing in the air at a few places to restore calm.
A pick up was also set ablaze and reports of attempt to capture a booth and malfunctioning of EVMs were reported
from some places,officials said.
The voting was held for 199 out of 200 assembly seats up for grabs. Polling was adjourned in Churu constituency to December 13 following the death of BSP candidate Jagdish Meghwal.
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Police fired in the air to disperse a group of persons trying to disturb polling at Saleempur in Dausa district,at Rein in Alwar and near Khumber-Deeg in Bharatpur,ADGP (Law and Order) Navdeep Singh told PTI.
No one was injured and the polling went on smoothly at these places,he said.
“No untoward incident was reported within 200 metres of polling booths in the entire state,” the ADGP said.
A pick van was set ablaze by some persons at Fatehpur in Sikar district,the ADGP said.
Some anti-socials tried to capture a booth in Rupwas area in Bharatpur district leading to suspension of the polling briefly.
“After a brief interruption,the polling resumed,” Bharatpur Collector Neeraj K Pawan said.
Gehlot,his wife,son and daughter-in-law cast votes at Vardhman Jain upper primary school in Mahamandir area in Jodhpur.
Gehlot is trying his luck from his home turf Sardarpura in Jodhpur district and chief ministerial aspirant Raje from Jhalarapatan constituency in Jhalawar district.
In 2003 assembly elections,the turnout was 68.18 per cent and in 2008,it was 66.49 per cent,Election Commission officials said.
No votes were cast in a polling booth in Dug assembly seat in Jhalawar district with the electorate boycotting the democratic exercise.
The Congress and the BJP fielded 200 candidates each and the BSP 195. As many as 758 Independents also threw their hats into the ring
Some 50 EVMs were found faulty and were replaced,the officials said.
According to tentative figures,Jaisalmer recorded 77.50 per cent voting,Hanumangarh 74.14,Jhalawar 73.02,Ganganagar 72.60,Chittorgarh 70.31 and Banswara 69.58,they said.
Counting of votes will take place on December eight.