An election for the Rajasthan State Assembly takes place today in what many observers have described as a nail-biter. The contest is between the ruling Indian National Congress (INC) and the main national opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), also the key contestants in next year’s general election. Opinion polls suggest that the BJP may win narrowly.
The INC is fighting to gain a second consecutive term in the North-Western state which borders with Pakistan. It is the largest state in India with 40,829,330 eligible voters voting at 47,000 polling booths. They will be voting to elect 199 of the 200 members of the state assembly; the Churu seat will be contested on 13th December after a candidate died earlier in the campaign.
There are 2,087 candidates standing with a record 758 of them being independents. There are also 17 rebels from Congress and 16 from the BJP contesting seats against their old parties. 10,000 of the 47,000 polling booths are considered sensitive and as always security will be tight.
The results of the 2008 election are as follows:
Indian National Congress 96 + 40
Bharatiya Janata Party 78 – 42
Independents 14 – 1
Bahujan Samaj Party 6 + 4
Communist Party of India (Marxist) 3 + 2
Loktantrik Samajwadi Party 1 + 1
Janata Dal (United) 1 – 1
Polling takes place between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. local time and counting for the results will be held on 8th December.