Congress dethrones Raje-led BJP in Rajasthan

ANI | Updated: Dec 12, 2018 07:43 IST

Jaipur (Rajasthan), [India], Dec 11 (ANI): The Congress on Tuesday managed to dethrone BJP's Vasundhara Raje in Rajasthan and registered a comeback by winning 99 seats out of 199 in the 2018 Assembly elections. The final tally saw BJP finishing second with 73 seats, CPI-M 2, BSP 6, Independents 13 and others 6.
The Congress party, however, fell short of a clear majority and will now have to look for allies to cross the half way mark. Already RLD, with one seat, has announced support to the Congress while the CPI-M, that opened its account in the state, too is expected to back. The Congress is expected to stake claim to form the government in Rajasthan on Wednesday.
The total assembly strength in Rajasthan is 200. However, the election for Alwar seat was postponed following the death of the BSP candidate. The Congress had in the 2013 Assembly election managed to win only 21 seats in the state.
On Tuesday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot gave credit to the party workers for their hard work in the state. However, suspense over the Chief Minister remained as both top contenders for the post-Pilot and Gehlot-maintained silence and AICC observer KC Venugopal said the decision will be taken after wider discussions. Pilot won from Tonk while Gehlot was declared winner from Sardarpura seat.
Among prominent Congress winners in Rajasthan were CP Joshi, former union minister in Dr Manmohan Singh government, who won from Nathdwara, and former minister in Gehlot's Cabinet in 2013, Babu Lal Nagar who won from Dudu.
At the same time, Congress' top leaders like Leader of Opposition, Rameshwar Lal Dudi lost to BJP's Biharilal and Girija Vyas was defeated by Gulab Chand Kataria in Udaipur.
For BJP, Vasundhara Raje was among the prominent winners who defeated Congress candidate Manvendra Singh to retain Jhalrapatan seat. Manvendra, son of former BJP leader Jaswant Singh, lost by 34,980 votes. Another top leader of BJP Rajendra Rathore managed to win by a margin of 1850 votes from Churu against Rafique Mandelia of Congress even as ministers in Raje's Cabinet--Ram Pratap, Arun Chaturvedi, Rajpal Singh Shekhawat and Prabhu Lal Saini-- lost. Another big loss was of Col Sona Ram Choudhary, the BJP MP, who had contested from Barmer.
"I would like to congratulate Congress. I accept this mandate by the people. BJP has worked a lot for them in these 5 years, I hope the next party takes those policies and works forward," Raje said after submitting her resignation to Governor Kalyan Singh.
The Congress party has been making efforts for its revival in the state with Sachin Pilot literally stationed in Rajasthan for the last four years. Though Rajasthan has a tradition of going for change every five years, the Congress is hoping to consolidate its gains and at least make a dent in BJP's vote bank during the upcoming 2019 General Elections.
Pilot said that the people of the state had expressed their anger against the ruling BJP through the ballot in the state. He added that the BJP had "betrayed the trust" of the people over the last five years and the Congress had got what it had expected. The former union minister said it was a reflection of public anger against the BJP, which is ruling at the Centre and was in power in the state as well.
"There was betrayal of trust of the people by the BJP... I am satisfied that we got what we had expected. This is a victory of the public. I thank the voters for giving us this mandate," Pilot said.
CPI-M also made inroads in the Rajasthan Assembly winning Shri Dungargarh and Bhadra seats. CPI-M was the party behind the major farmer movements in the state demanding loan waivers, better pricing for their produce and implementation of Swaminathan Committee recommendations.
Apart from farmers' distress, issues of mob lynching by cow vigilantes and unemployment also dominated the election atmosphere in Rajasthan.
The Congress in its manifesto made several lucrative promises such as farm loan waiver, allowance of Rs 3,500 to educated unemployed youths, free education to girls and bringing an Accountability Bill within 30 days of coming into power. Congress also announced to free farm equipment from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and pensions for the old farmers. To woo the Hindu voters, the party also promised to set up the 'Gauchar Bhumi Board' to ensure adequate fodder for cows.
"Our manifesto is not just a document, but a commitment," Pilot had said at the time of manifesto release.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi had campaigned heavily in this state and the party also used its star campaigner Navjot Singh Sidhu in Rajasthan. In Rajasthan Congress did exceptionally well in the rural areas.
The BJP too tried to woo the voters through incentives and sops. BJP promised jobs for the youths in private and public sectors and Rs 1 lakh crore loans to farmers in the next five years. It announced a monthly unemployment allowance of Rs 5,000 for the 21-year-old educated unemployed youths.
Keeping in view the huge vote bank of farmers, the BJP vowed to disburse loans to the tune of Rs 1 lakh crore co-operative farm loans, double their income, and spend Rs 6,060 crore to address the problem of water shortage in Jawai dam. Outgoing Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje claimed to have completed 630 promises out of a total of 665 that were made in the previous manifesto of the BJP.
Highlighting the work done in the state for the welfare and safety of women, Raje said that her government had adopted several measures for the welfare of women and girls. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during the manifesto release said that developing infrastructure projects like highways and ports have been a priority of the BJP government in the state and once called 'Bimaru Rajya,' Rajasthan was now a state with revolutionary development all around.
Despite all this, the voters had made their mind for a change. (ANI)