Voters turned out in huge numbers across Rajasthan on Thursday, notching a turnout of 63% (compared to 48% in 2009) in the first phase of elections to 20 Lok Sabha seats in the state on Thursday.
Former Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot casts his vote in Jodhpur.(HT photo/Suresh Vyas)
Sriganganagar registered the highest turnout at 72.60% while the lowest was recorded in Bikaner at 57.9%. Barmer, where BJP rebel candidate Jaswant Singh has put the BJP on tenterhooks, witnessed 71.55% balloting.
Bharatiya Janata Party, which unseated Congress in assembly elections last year, winning a comfortable majority, the party is looking forward to winning the maximum number of Lok Sabha seats.
BJP leader Suman Sharma said the high turnout pointed to a "Modi wave" and anger against the Congress. She claimed there was a lower turnout in Muslim areas, which would benefit the BJP.
State Congress president Sachin Pilot too said he was hopeful of a good result. Former chief minister Ashok Gehlot, who cast his vote along with his family in Jodhpur, said it was a dangerous trend for democracy that the BJP was posing as a one man party.
However, analysts say Congress poll management has been weak and haphazard. Pilot was busy with his own campaign and unable to devote time to guide the party's strategy in the state. Nor were central leaders or frontal organisations roped in to boost the morale of dispirited party workers.
Read: Jaswant Singh complains to EC, suspects fake voting
Here's a map of the constituencies going to polls on Thursday. On searching, you will get details of all parties fighting from a constituency and its key candidates:
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(With inputs from Agencies)