Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

The 200 Assembly seats in Rajasthan will go to polls on November 23, with the results declared on December 3, according to the Election Commission. This election holds significant importance for the ruling Congress party, as it takes place ahead of the 2024 general election. The Congress has formed an alliance with other opposition parties under the INDIA bloc, aiming to challenge the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The Assembly elections in five states will serve as a crucial test for the opposition parties and their coordination.

In the 2018 election, the Congress won 100 seats, falling just short of the halfway mark. The BJP experienced heavy losses compared to its 2013 performance, dropping from 163 to 73 seats. Ashok Gehlot formed the government with the support of Independent and BSP MLAs. The following year, six BSP MLAs joined the Congress, solidifying its majority in the Assembly.

The Ashok Gehlot-led government faced a major challenge in 2020 when Deputy Chief Minister and state Congress chief Sachin Pilot led a rebellion that threatened to topple the government. Swift intervention from the Congress high command averted the crisis. While the Congress presents a united front, internal conflicts and power struggles remain significant challenges as the party prepares for the polls.

The BJP also faces infighting challenges, with rival factions led by former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat competing for prominence. This is the first time in about two decades that the BJP enters the Rajasthan polls without projecting Ms. Raje as the Chief Ministerial candidate. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement that the BJP’s symbol, the lotus, will be its main face for the election has put the matter to rest.

In the run-up to the polls, the BJP has targeted the Ashok Gehlot government over the state’s law and order situation, particularly emphasizing crimes against women. The ruling Congress has retaliated by questioning the BJP’s silence on similar crimes in the states where it holds power.

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