Here is What May Decide Final Verdict in Rajasthan Where Election Results Will Be Declared Today
Unlike her party colleagues, Shivraj Singh Chauhan in Madhya Pradesh and Raman Singh in Chhattisgarh, Vasundhara Raje does not have a history of consecutive wins.
A voter smiles as she shows identity card during the state Assembly elections, at a polling station in Ajmer. (Image: PTI)
As polling concluded in Rajasthan on December 6, all major exit polls predicted a unanimous and comfortable victory to Sachin Pilot and Ashok Gehlot-led Congress in the state, predicting a par-101 majority for the party.
On the other hand, the simmering farm discontent in rural Rajasthan is emerging as the biggest challenge for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in its attempt to retain power in the state. Only a quarter of Rajasthan’s households live in urban areas. Farmers constitute a strong and influential block of voters in the state.
Here are five factors that will play a major role in deciding which party emerges victorious:
More than half (53%) of all households in Rajasthan own agricultural land. Farm income is either the sole or an important constituent of family incomes. Rising agricultural input costs, falling profits and poor market infrastructure remains a problem for farmers, who have a lot to complain about the BJP government. The importance of farm distress as an election issue can be gauged from the fact that Congress president Rahul Gandhi has been raising the issue in almost every election rally. Citing media reports, Congress has been claiming that more than 92 farmers have committed suicide due to farm distress since BJP came to power in 2013. Regional newspapers have reported that producers of almost all agricultural produce are under distress.
The BJP is fighting anti-incumbency of five years of Vasundhara Raje’s rule. It is also faced with anti-incumbency of four-and-a-half years of Modi government at the Centre. Most of the pre-poll surveys have predicted an easy win for the Congress. Unlike her party colleagues, Shivraj Singh Chauhan in Madhya Pradesh and Raman Singh in Chhattisgarh, Raje does not have a history of consecutive wins. The BJP’s sweep in 2013 assembly polls was largely attributed to a strong public sentiment against the 10 years of Congress rule at the Centre and a pan-India wave of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who had already been appointed the chairman of BJP’s poll campaign committee for 2014 national elections.
High unemployment rate among the state’s youth is an important election issue. In the last election, BJP had promised to create 15 lakh jobs. This time BJP has promised to create 50 lakh jobs and payment of unemployment allowances to every unemployed youth above the age of 21 years.
The Congress has been trying to make the election a contest between former chief minister and veteran Congress leader Gehlot versus Raje. However, the party is facing infighting among the factions led by Gehlot and state Congress president Pilot. The BJP has also been raising the issue of 60 years of Congress rule in the country versus four years of Modi government. The BJP is also invoking the issue of Ram temple in Ayodhya to appeal to its core vote bank. The BJP’s firebrand leader and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has been campaigning extensively in the state. He has been trying to portray the Congress as a party indulging in appeasement of minorities.
Inaccessibility of Chief Minister:
Chief minister Raje is considered inaccessible even by her close associates. The Congress has relentlessly highlighted this issue in its election campaign, asking the people whether they would vote the same person who has become a "symbol of arrogance."
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