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Assembly election 2018: Big battles in Rajasthan, Telangana as key states vote before 2019 finale

The campaigning in both the states has been bitter with personalised attacks by leaders of various parties. The elections are being mainly fought on local issues and development, but the leaders relied on emotional issues too to sway voters.

assembly elections Updated: Dec 07, 2018 14:43 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jaipur/Hyderabad
Assembly elections 2018,Live assembly elections 2018,Rajasthan elections live
Women wait for their turn to cast votes.(AP file photo)

In the first five hours of polling, 41.53 % voters had on Friday exercised their franchise in Rajasthan while 41.96% had voted in Telangana in assembly elections that could set the tone for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

The voting started at 7am in 13 Maoist-affected constituencies of Telangana and at 8am in other parts of the state and in Rajasthan. Initially slow, the voting picked up later with EVM glitches being reported from a few constituencies but polling was by and large smooth.

The two states are among the 5 states -- others being Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram -- that will have new governments in place by the end of the month. Capping a high-decible campaign, the five voted in four-phase polls starting November 12 and the results will be known on December 11.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted urging voters to come out in large numbers to exercise their franchise.

Vasundhara Raje-led BJP is fighting incumbency in a tight race with Congress for the 200-seat Rajasthan that has voted out the party in power every five years in the last two decades.

In Telangana, chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao leads his TRS against Congress-led People’s Front that also includes Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP, state activist leader Kodandaram’s TJS and CPI, even as BJP threatens to make it a triangular contest.

Click here for Rajasthan election 2018 Live Updates

The campaigning in both the states has been bitter with personalised attacks by leaders of various parties. The elections are being mainly fought on local issues and development, but the leaders relied on emotional issues too to sway voters.

Click here for Telangana assembly election 2018 Live Updates

BJP, which is in power at the Centre, has left no stone unturned to woo voters in the two states. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah led the charge against Congress’s Rahul Gandhi, who has been busy forging alliances, while launching scathing attacks on the ruling party.

A defeat could put Modi’s BJP on the back foot in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections while it could boost the chances for Congress which has been mobilising opposition leaders to form a common front against the saffron party.

The voting will start at 7 am in 13 Maoist-affected constituencies of Telangana and at 8 am in other parts of the state and in Rajasthan.

While over 4.74 crore people are eligible to vote in Rajasthan, there are over 2.8 crore voters in Telangana to choose from 2,274 and 1,821 candidates in 199 and 119 constituencies, respectively.

First Published: Dec 07, 2018 07:20 IST