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Rajasthan assembly elections 2018: Poll results a litmus test for Raje

With poll results coming in on Tuesday, the BJP and Raje are trying to break the jinx of the ruling party not returning to power in Rajasthan.

rajasthan-elections Updated: Dec 11, 2018 10:13 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Workers put up sound systems and digital screen at the BJP office in Jaipur on the eve of counting of votes
Workers put up sound systems and digital screen at the BJP office in Jaipur on the eve of counting of votes(HT Photo)
         

The results of the assembly elections are crucial for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) but more so for chief minister Vasundhara Raje who has been the face of the BJP in the state for the past five years and through the election campaign.

With poll results coming in on Tuesday, the BJP and Raje are trying to break the jinx of the ruling party not returning to power in Rajasthan.

Raje, who is known to be very religious, will begin her day by seeking blessings at the Tripura Sundari temple in Banswara, as she has been doing for the past three elections.

For the BJP high command, Rajasthan is a crucial link in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. In 2014, the BJP won all 25 parliamentary seats here and the Centre may hope to maintain the same.

If the exit polls prove right and the results go against the BJP, Raje will have to take the blame for the loss and questions may arise about her political future.

A loss will add fuel to the fire by her detractors who have been making accusations against her, though not in the open . Raje’s style of functioning that came in for much criticism through her tenure may go under scrutiny. There were complaints about her inaccessibility not only from the people but also party workers.

Party workers, MLAs and ministers have been complaining of the dominance of the bureaucracy and works not being done. The major indication of the angst against the government came in January when the BJP lost on 17 assembly seats in the three bypolls. There were calls for a change in the leadership.

A new state BJP chief was appointed and Raje and was given a free-hand in ticket distribution. The party took initiatives to mitigate the public ire and workers’ anger. A series of public outreach programmes and efforts to strengthen the organisation were undertaken. Raje took out the Rajasthan Gaurav Yatra, while BJP national president Amit Shah held scores of meetings with party workers to motivate them.

The results will show whether Raje and the BJP government successfully warded off anti-incumbency.

Click here for Rajasthan election results LIVE updates

Meanwhile, the BJP began preparations for the counting of votes for the assembly elections. The party appointed counting incharges for each district.

Hopeful of a win, the party also made preparations at the party headquarters. A sound system was installed on the premises of the party office for broadcast of the election results and LED screens were put up to telecast the results on Tuesday.

State BJP president Madanlal Saini said that counting incharges have been appointed for each of the 33 districts to monitor the counting of votes. Saini, along with leaders Chandrashekhar and V Satish will be at the party office here. Raje is also expected to reach the party headquarters by afternoon.

The incharge leaders reached their respective districts on Monday evening and met with the counting agents and gave them instructions. The counting agents will reach their counting centres two hours prior to counting of votes that will begin at 8 am.

State BJP president Madanlal Saini said the BJP was confident of forming the government in Rajasthan.

First Published: Dec 11, 2018 09:44 IST

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