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Rajasthan, Telangana set to vote on Friday

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Jaipur/Hyderabad, Dec 6: Rajasthan and Telangana will go to the polls on Friday in a high-stakes battle, the results of which along with those in three other states can be a pointer to which way the wind is blowing ahead of next year’s general elections.

The BJP and the Congress are locked in a tough fight in Rajasthan, which has not voted the same party to power for more than one term in the last 20 years, while in Telangana the ruling TRS is facing a resurgent Congress-led People’s Front in its bid for a second term.

The contest is largely bipolar between the BJP and Congress for the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly but is expected to be triangular, especially in some seats, for the 119-member Telangana assembly where the Congress has tied up with unlikely rival TDP, CPI and Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS), a new party floated by M. Kodandaram, who was once Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s friend in the Telangana movement.

The campaign in both the states has been bitter with personalized attacks by leaders of various parties.

In Rajasthan, the BJP is fighting anti-incumbency to retain power.

While over 4.74 crore people are eligible to vote in Rajasthan, there are over 2.80 crore voters in Telangana.

The voting will start at 7 a.m. in Telangana and at 8 a.m. in Rajasthan and VVPATs (voter verifiable paper audit trail) will be used in all the constituencies. Voters will also have NOTA (none of the above) option.

Tight security has been made in both the states and the results will be declared on December 11 along with those of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram.

Telangana has 51,796 polling stations, an increase of 14.25 per cent over the previous election in 2013.

In Telangana, the political fortunes of 1,821 candidates will be decided in 119 constituencies in the first election after Telangana was formed.

Election authorities have made elaborate arrangements for a smooth conduct of the polling process in 32,815 polling stations.

According to Telangana’s Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar, polling will be held from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. in 106 constituencies while in 13 Left Wing Extremism affected constituencies polling will conclude at 4 p.m.

As the Communist Party of India-Maoist has given a call for boycott of elections, the police heightened vigil in areas bordering Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra.

The TRS government Dissolved the Assembly about eight months ahead of schedule in the hope of taking the opposition parties by surprise but the Congress threw a surprise by coming up with an alliance in a bid to oust the ruling party.

IANS

Election

Ashok Gehlot to be Rajasthan Chief Minister

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Jaipur, Dec 13: Veteran Congress leader Ashok Gehlot will take over as the new Chief Minister of Rajasthan. 

The name of 67-year-old Gehlot, a two-time Chief Minister, will be announced by the party in Delhi on Thursday evening after Congress President Rahul Gandhi completes discussions with senior party leaders, party sources told news agency IANS.

The decision was taken after day-long marathon consultations between party observers and party president Rahul Gandhi.

Earlier, he served as the Chief Minister of Rajasthan from 1998 to 2003 and again from 2008 to 2013.

The Congress emerged as a single largest party in the recently held Rajasthan elections had one seat short of a majority. The party, however, has the support of its pre-poll ally Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs and Independents.

In the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly, the Congress clinched 99 seats, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) won one seat, Bahujan Samaj Party bagged six and  Independents attained thirteen.

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Taking Inputs from MLAs, Workers: Rahul Gandhi on New Chief Ministers

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rahul-gandhi

New Delhi, Dec 13: Congress President Rahul Gandhi Thursday said that the names of Rajasthan, Chhatisgarh and Madhya Pradesh chief ministers will be announced soon.

Speaking to media, Gandhi stated ” We are taking inputs from different people in the party. We are taking inputs from MLAs, from workers. You will see a Chief Minister soon”.

KC Venugopal, All India Congress Committee observer for Rajasthan, chief ministerial hopefuls Sachin Pilot and Ashok Gehlot and other are in New Delhi to meet the Congress president.

Earlier in a day, All India Congress Committee’s observer for Chhattisgarh, Mallikarjun Kharge stated “All MLAs have unanimously authorised AICC President Rahul Gandhi to select Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader (for Chhattisgarh). Whatever decision he takes, the MLAs are ready to accept”.

“We can’t make the conclusion of confidential discussion public. MLAs are given the rights that they can express their individual opinions, nothing will be disclosed for now. Decision on CM candidate (Chhattisgarh) should be taken by today”, On Chhattisgarh CM candidate, party leader TS Singh Deo told media.

Prior to this, Venugopal and state-in-charge Avinash Pandey were here on Wednesday to attend a Congress Legislature Party meeting of the newly-elected MLAs, who were to give their views on Chief Minister.

As per the reports, the meeting held for around eight hours but no consensus could be reached.

Eventually, it was decided that the Congress President would take the final call.

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Rajasthan: Congress leaders meet Governor, stake claim to form government

The delegation comprising Pilot, Gehlot and other Congress leaders reached the Governor’s House in Jaipur after a series of meetings at the Pradesh Congress Committee office the state capital.

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Sachin Pilot

Jaipur, Dec 12 : Even as suspense over the name of next Rajasthan Chief Minister continued, a Congress party delegation on Wednesday met Governor Kalyan Singh to stake claim to form the next government in state.

Rajasthan Congress President Sachin Pilot and former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot are the frontrunners for the coveted post.

The delegation comprising Pilot, Gehlot and other Congress leaders reached the Governor’s House in Jaipur after a series of meetings at the Pradesh Congress Committee office the state capital.

The newly elected MLAs from across the state had come to attend the meeting to elect their leader. However, no consensus could be reached, with both Gehlot and Pilot supporters strongly backing their leaders.

Meanwhile, Congress leaders have confirmed that after a meeting with the Governor, Pilot and Gehlot will leave for Delhi to meet Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday.

The Congress has emerged as the single-largest party in Rajasthan with 99 seats, though they are one seat short of a majority.

Its pre-poll alliance partner Rashtriya Lok Dal has won one seat and together, they have garnered 100 seats, which makes for the majority mark.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party gained 73 seats in the Assembly elections held in Rajasthan on Dec 7 for 199 seats out of 200. Election in Ramgarh constituency was countermanded following the death of BSP candidate Laxman Singh.

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