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Rajasthan & Telangana Polls Underway, See Update

Polls: Voting, is underway for 119 seats in the Telangana assembly elections and 199 seats in Rajasthan.

For the BJP, the crucial battle is in the northern state, which has voted out the incumbent government for more than two decades.

But Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje is hoping to buck the trend, claiming that her government had worked hard and if anything is wanting, it is, as BJP chief Amit Shah said, is the publicity.

In Telangana, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao is facing the combined forces of the Congress and N Chandrababu Naidu. A victory for the alliance will have ramifications for the opposition ahead of next year’s national elections.

A voter turnout of 10.15 per cent was recorded till 9:30 am in Telangana. In Rajasthan, a 6.11 per cent turnout was seen till 9 am.

Updates on Telangana and Rajasthan elections:

1) There were reports of voting machine malfunctioning in a few of parts of Rajasthan. Voting was put on hold at two polling booths in Jalore following protests by voters after reported malfunctioning of voting machines.

2) The Congress, which is hoping to capture power in the state, claims there is huge anti-incumbency. In the last round of by-elections in February, the party wrested the Ajmer and Alwar Lok Sabha seats and the Mandalgarh assembly seat from the BJP. Congress election in-charge Sachin Pilot said the state government’s report card is “appalling and no matter how much Amit Shah-ji and Modi-ji come and campaign, they cannot dissociate themselves from the governance that Vasundhara-ji has given”.

3) “I don’t have any regrets. I don’t because there is nothing that I could’ve done differently,” said Vasundhara Raje, whose government has been accused of arrogance and high-handedness by the opposition Congress.

4) In Telangana, KCR, as Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao is known, had advanced elections by eight months. The BJP which is trying to get a foothold in the state, alleged that the chief minister was apprehensive that his pitch would be overtaken by the BJP-Congress battle during next year’s national elections.

5) While KCR’s party won 63 seats last time against the 21 seats of Congress and 15 of Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party, data from the last election shows a 2 per cent vote swing may change the outcome of the election. Mr Rao had a good equation with Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM, which won 7 seats in the last election.

6) In the last five elections since 1993, Rajasthan has swung between the BJP and the Congress. But the Congress, which won only 21 assembly seats in 2013 against the BJP’s 161, would need an 8 per cent swing in its favour to win the election.

7) The Congress is yet to announce a chief ministerial candidate in Rajasthan. Its election in-charge Sachin Pilot and former chief minister Ashok Gehlot are seen as front-runners for the top job if the party wins. “We will sit and discuss this after our party gets a majority in the election,” Mr Pilot told reporters after voting in Jaipur.

8) A victory for the Congress-Telugu Desam Party alliance will place Mr Naidu – who has taken on the job of facilitating an opposition alliance ahead of national elections – at the forefront of the opposition politics. Mr Rao is batting for a Third Front which won’t have the BJP or the Congress.

9) Mr Naidu is contesting only 13 seats in this election and said in case of a victory, the top job in the state will go to the Congress, which is contesting the rest. The Congress has not announced a chief ministerial candidate.

10) The counting of votes will take place on December 11. The results of three other states, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram – will be announced on the same day.

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