iconimg Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Sachin Saini, Hindustan Times
Jaipur, December 02, 2013
The dust has started to settle over battleground Rajasthan and the warriors have put down their arms and armour. It’s now time for a few moments of solitude. And, perhaps, a quiet prayer.


 
A day after people in 199 constituencies cast their votes to elect a new government in Rajasthan, candidates – big and small – unwinded in their own style, resting their weary bodies after months of hectic campaigning.
 
The state witnessed a record turn-out of 74. 38% turn-out in the polls, seen as a yardstick of the vibrant democracy in the desert state. Polling was countermanded in Churu following the death of a candidate.
 
While most of the candidates preferred to stay in their respective homes, catching up with family-members, many visited temples and mosques, some prepared tea and food, meditated and even went for a walk.
 
Chief minister Ashok Gehlot, aiming for a rare stint as the head of a Congress government, went out for dinner with his family on Sunday night in the capital. He is contesting from Sardarpura in Jodhpur.
 
On Monday afternoon, too, Gehlot had lunch with his family-members at Chulgiri, a famous Jain pilgrimage, on the Jaipur-Agra road.
 
Former chief minister and state BJP president Vasundhara Raje appeared relaxed as she had tea from a roadside stall on Monday at Jhalawar in her constituency Jhalarapatan, before returning to Jaipur.
 
On Sunday, immediately after casting her vote, she had lunch sitting on a ‘charpoy’ (stringed bed) in an onion plantation of a Bheel tribal.
 
The irony was, perhaps, not lost her followers as the BJP had targetted the Congress over the skyrocketing prices of the essential commodity till a few days ago.
 
Raje would become the chief minister if the BJP managed to form the government on December 8, when counting of votes is taken up.
 
Another member of an erstwhile royal family, 42-year-old Diya Kumari, too returned to Jaipur from her constituency Sawai Madhopur. 
 
“I will relax for a couple of days here and will return to constituency thereafter to meet party workers and plan our future course of action,” she told Hindustan Times.
 
Hoping for a hat-trick, BJP candidate from Soorsagar in Jodhpur, Surya Kanta Vyas, prepared tea for her family-members before visiting the Ghan Shyam temple in walled city.
 
Congress candidate from Malviya Nagar, Archana Sharma, too was busy cooking and meeting workers at her residence.

“Haven’t spent time with my children for almost two months, so now my focus is on them,” she said.
 
(With inputs from Mukesh Mathrani in Barmer and Aabshar H Quazi)