Photo Gallery: Rajasthan, Telangana prepare to seal fate of political bigwigs
Over 2,000 candidates are in the fray for 199 assembly seats in Rajasthan, where polling Friday will determine whether the BJP bucks anti-incumbency and an increasingly aggressive opposition to return to power. Votes will be cast at 51,687 polling booths, 259 of them managed exclusively by women officials and security personnel. It is a seen as a straight fight between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress for about 130 seats. In other constituencies, groups like the Bahujan Samaj Party and rebels who are contesting against official party candidates may queer the pitch. Vasundhara Raje hopes to return as the state's chief minister. Police personnel conduct a march in front of Hawa Mahal ahead of Rajasthan Assembly elections. (Image Courtesy: PTI)
The polling caps a hard-fought campaign between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party. Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed 12 major rallies and Congress president Rahul Gandhi nine in the state. Both sides fielded their top leaders in the campaign. If the Congress wins, it is expected to pick between former chief minister Ashok Gehlot and state party president Sachin Pilot for the top post in the state. In the current House, the BJP has 160 seats and the Congress 25. Raje is contesting from Jhalrapatan constituency, considered her bastion. This time she face BJP veteran Jaswant Singh's son Manvendra Singh who has defected to the Congress, complaining that his old party had hurt the pride of the Rajputs by ignoring his father in the last Lok Sabha election.
Polling officials wait in multiple queues to collect Electronic Voting Machines from a distribution center before leaving for their respective polling stations, on the eve of Rajasthan Assembly elections. Of the total 4,74, 37,761 registered voters, 2.27 crore are women and 20,20,156 are registered as first-time voters. 'Micro observers' will be deployed at 4,982 booths, videographers at 3,948 and there will be webcasting from 3,138. (Image Courtesy: IANS)
Rajasthan's Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Anand Kumar addresses a press conference on the eve of Rajasthan Assembly elections. In the run-up to the polling, the Election Commission received 3,784 complaints related to violation of code of conduct. Of them, 3,098 were found true. 13,182 booths are being called 'critical'. (Image Courtesy: IANS)
Polling officials leave for their respective polling stations from a distribution center. As many as 4,146 'vulnerable' villages have been identified. Central Reserve Police Force personnel will be stationed at 7,791 booths. Rajasthan Director General of Police O P Galhotra said foolproof security arrangements are in place. (Image Courtesy: IANS)