Despite poll boycott in 10 villages and some minor incidents of clashes between the Congress and BJP supporters, 68 per cent of the 3.62 crore voters in Rajasthan turned out on Thursday for the assembly elections.
Although polling started late due to cloudy weather, it picked up in the afternoon. Vinod Zutshi, state chief electoral officer, said, “The exact percentage will be known much later as reports are still coming in.”
He said counting of votes would be taken up on December 8 and the results were expected the same evening.
In the outgoing assembly, the BJP has 120 seats, while the Congress has 56, BSP two, CPI-M one, independents 13 and other smaller parties 8.
Among the BJP heavyweights in the contest are Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and 18 cabinet ministers and 11 state ministers of the present BJP government, while prominent Congress candidates include former chief minister Ashok Gehlot, Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee president C.P. Joshi, B.D. Kalla, Hema Ram Chaudhary, Narain Singh, Harendra Mirdha, Banwar Lal Sharma, Paras Ram Mordiya and Brij Kishore Sharma.
Home ministry officials said a case was registered against former minister and expelled BJP leader KL Meena for allegedly opening fire at a group of Gujjar voters, injuring one person. The group was on its way to a polling booth near Balghat in the Todabheem constituency.
Rajasthan Director General of Police KS Bains said 27 minor incidents were reported from several districts. “Attempts at booth capturing were reported from two places in Bari in Dholpur district,’’ he added.