Ra­jasthan, T’gana all set to vote to­day

The Hitavada - - FRONT PAGE -

RA­JASTHAN and Te­lan­gana will go to the polls on Fri­day in a high­stakes bat­tle, the re­sults of which along with those in three other States can be a pointer to which way the wind is blow­ing ahead of next year’s gen­eral elec­tions.

The BJP and the Congress are locked in a tough fight in Ra­jasthan, which has not voted the same party to power for more than one term in the last 20 years, while in Te­lan­gana the rul­ing TRS is fac­ing a resur­gent Congress-led Peo­ple’s Front in its bid for a sec­ond term.

The con­test is largely bipo­lar be­tween the BJP and Congress for the 200-mem­ber Ra­jasthan Assem­bly but is ex­pected to be tri­an­gu­lar, es­pe­cially in some seats, for the 119-mem­ber Te­lan­gana Assem­bly where the Congress has tied up with un­likely ri­val TDP, CPI and Te­lan­gana Jana Samithi (TJS), a new party floated by M Ko­dan­daram, who was once Chief Minister K Chan­drasekhar Rao’s friend in the Te­lan­gana move­ment. The cam­paign in both the States has been bit­ter with per­son­alised at­tacks by lead­ers of var­i­ous par­ties.

In Ra­jasthan, the BJP is fight­ing anti-in­cum­bency to re­tain power. While over 4.74 crore peo­ple are el­i­gi­ble to vote in Ra­jasthan, there are over 2.80 crore vot­ers in Te­lan­gana.

The vot­ing will start at 7 am in Te­lan­gana and at 8 am in Ra­jasthan andVVPATs (voter ver­i­fi­able pa­per au­dit trail) will be used in all the con­stituen­cies. Vot­ers will also have NOTA (none of the above) op­tion.

Tight se­cu­rity has been made in both the states and the re­sults will be de­clared on De­cem­ber 11 along with those of Ch­hat­tis­garh, Mad­hya Pradesh and Mi­zo­ram.

Te­lan­gana has 51,796 polling sta­tions, an in­crease of 14.25 per cent over the pre­vi­ous elec­tion in 2013.

In Te­lan­gana, the po­lit­i­cal for­tunes of 1,821 can­di­dates will be de­cided in 119 con­stituen­cies in the first elec­tion af­ter Te­lan­gana was formed.

Elec­tion au­thor­i­ties have made elab­o­rate ar­range­ments for a smooth con­duct of the polling process in 32,815 polling sta­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to Te­lan­gana’s Chief Elec­toral Of­fi­cer Ra­jat Ku­mar, polling will be held from 7 am to 5 pm in 106 con­stituen­cies while in 13 Left Wing Ex­trem­ism af­fected con­stituen­cies polling will con­clude at 4 pm. As the Com­mu­nist Party of In­dia-Maoist has given a call for boy­cott of elec­tions, the po­lice height­ened vigil in ar­eas bor­der­ing Ch­hat­tis­garh and Ma­ha­rash­tra.

The TRS Gov­ern­ment Dis­solved the Assem­bly about eight months ahead of sched­ule in the hope of tak­ing the op­po­si­tion par­ties by sur­prise but the Congress threw a sur­prise by com­ing up with an al­liance in a bid to oust the rul­ing party.

(PTI)

Po­lice per­son­nel con­duct a march in front of Hawa Ma­hal ahead of Ra­jasthan Assem­bly elec­tions in Jaipur on Thurs­day.

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