Both Congress and BJP claim that they would win the Rajasthan assembly elections but only time will tell the truth which is not far now i.e. 8th Dec when the poll result will be out. Fate of a new 200-seat assembly is now sealed in the Electronic Voting Machines. Police even fire in the air to maintain calmness and to disperse the crowd during polling. Balloting in Rajasthan took place in 199 constituencies except for Churu which will see polling on 13th Dec. Polls there have been postponed because of the death of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate. Urban constituencies like Jaipur, Jodhpur and Kota saw 75% turnout, the highest ever in the state. This year there was a record breaking polling in Rajasthan on Dec 1 when near about 25 million people voted out of 40 million, the total number of electoral eligible for voting in Rajasthan.
Going by opinion polls – the BJP will surely wipe out the Congress this year. Last time in 2008, Congress won the elections in Rajasthan. Share of Congress in the 2008 assembly election was 36.82% and that of BJP was 34.27%. In 2013, both the political parties are contesting all the seats i.e. 200 and since 1993 no political party has won back to back terms in Rajasthan. National People’s Party (NPP)will contest from 150 constituencies.BSP is contesting from 100 seats.
Present Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot states that this time also Congress is going to win Rajasthan Assembly polls. This will happen because of the development during his tenure as Chief Minister in the state. But opinion polls have something else to say. Price hike and inflation is the major factor against the ruling Congress. Even the minorities in the state are looking for the change. One of the major reasons is government’s incumbency in protecting minorities during communal clashes in Gopalgarh village. In this violence 12 people were killed in September 2011. Though Congress has worked towards the welfare of poor and financially weak in the state by providing free medical services, food at low price etc. but on the other hand high price of petrol and desel is bothering farmers of the state who are unhappy with the present government. To pacify the situation Congress is promising to provide more irrigation facilities if it is back in power this time. Poor infrastructure such as bad condition of roads and faulty power supply is also weakening the chances of Congress this time.
Lack of Job is the major concern of the youth is Rajasthan. They have to go out of the state to other cities like Bangalore, Delhi and Hyderabad for jobs. First time voters and youth is favoring Modi means BJP in Rajasthan. Vasundhara Raje, a BJP candidate has also picked up right issue against Ashok Gehlot from Congress. Raje is accentuating the violence against women in the state, and rise in the cases of chain snatching.
Kirori Lal Meena an independent MLA has joined hands with PA Sangma’s National People’s Party. In an opinion poll by India Today he got 17%votes. He can change the game.
But speculations are going on – who is that additional 7% voters in Rajasthan? It is possible that these additional voters may bring BJP into power as voter especially first time and youth now want to break the traditional system. It has also been observed that youth at this time favors Narendra Modi means BJP.
Congress is emphasizing free schemes and doles in Rajasthan. But youth from the urban middle class and first time voters is practically not associated with such freebies. Apart from this huge crowd at Modi’s rallies in Rajasthan especially of youngsters also points towards this.
Women also came out in large number to cast their votes. Their vote is strongly influenced by their family. Inflation and price hike are other factors that affect the voting of women. Incumbency of Congress to curb inflation will also play its role and probably favor BJP in Rajasthan.
Apart from this, performance of the parties in the tribal-dominated Mewar region is very crucial as it accounts for 28 seats. In 2008 election, ruling party Congress won 20 seats and BJP six. In 2003 when BJP ruled Rajasthan the party won 22 seats in Mewar region. So this time also it will play a major role in the party’s victory.
Modi’s charm seems to be working in urban, rural and tribal Rajasthan. Because of this his rally in Rajasthan was extended to four days that was two days.
According to an opinion poll conducted by CSDS for CNN-IBN, BJP will win the Rajasthan assembly election in 2013. It is expected that BJP will win between 115 and 125 seats out of 200. But 50% of those who voted in the opinion poll were also satisfied with the present Government and 55% were satisfied with performance of the present CM Ashok Gehlot. As per the survey Congress would win just 60-68 seats.
The India Today Group-ORG opinion poll also states the victory of BJP in Rajasthan. The poll predicts that BJP will win 105 seats and Congress will bag 76 seats.
Though survey results are not foolproof but if we go by these then surely saffron party would be seen ruling Rajasthan in 2013 general assembly election.