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Congress falls one short of a century in Rajasthan

The incumbent BJP won 73 seats while six seats went to BSP and 21 to others, including rebels from Congress and BJP and parties such as CPM, RLP and BTP.

, ET Bureau|
Dec 12, 2018, 05.27 AM IST
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Congress leaders Ashok Gehlot (R) and Sachin Pilot (L) shake hands as K.C. Venugopal and Avinash Pandey look on after the declaration of Rajasthan Assembly election result in Jaipur.
JAIPUR: Congress ousted BJP from power in Rajasthan by winning 99 seats. Its ally RLD won one seat to take the tally to 100. The incumbent BJP won 73 seats while six seats went to BSP and 21 to others, including rebels from Congress and BJP and parties such as CPM, RLP and BTP. Chief minister Vasundhara Raje handed over her resignation to Governor Kalyan Singh.

Top Congress leaders, including former chief minister Ashok Gehlot, Congress state unit chief Sachin Pilot and former Union minister C P Joshi won while former Union minister Girija Vyas and leader of Opposition Rameshwar Dudi lost the battle.

BJP’s Vasundhara Raje won comprehensively by over 30,000 votes against Manvendra Singh in her home constituency Jhalrapatan. But her cabinet colleagues such as revenue minister Amraram and former BJP president and close aide of Raje Ashok Parnami lost.

On the other hand, home minister Gulab Chand Kataria and health minister Kalicharan Saraf were some of the senior BJP leaders, who sailed through.

BJP suffered its biggest setback in the five districts of eastern Rajasthan – Sawai Madhopur, Karauli, Bharatpur, Dausa, Dholpur. It could win only one seat out of 24 while Congress bagged 18 leaving five for BSP and independents.

“These seats are Meena and Gujjar dominated. BJP’s Meena strongman Kirodi Lal Meena lost it completely. His wife Golma Devi and his nephew Rajendra Meena lost elections to his bête noirs Ramesh Meena and Om Prakash Hudla. The Sachin Pilot factor also worked well with Congress as Gujjars voted for the party,” said Ramkesh Sinodiya, a political analyst. However, Raje maintained her domination in her home district Jhalawara where her party won all the four seats.

Gehlot also guided Congress to a comprehensive win in his home bastion Jodhpur winning seven out of 10 seats. The Pilot factor worked in Tonk district also where the party won three out of four seats. Pilot defeated Raje’s close aide PWD minister Yoonus Khan by a margin of over 50,000 votes from Tonk.

The Congress victory also broke the general perception that the party forming government in the state also wins Mewar region, which is considered the gateway to power in Rajasthan.
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