In a significant move, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has decided to change the poll dates for the Rajasthan assembly elections. Originally scheduled for November 23, the elections will now be held on November 25. This alteration comes in response to representations received from various political parties and social organizations, who cited concerns about the initial date coinciding with a high number of weddings and social engagements, potentially causing inconvenience to a large number of people.
The adjusted schedule announced by the ECI outlines the following key dates:
- Gazette Notification: October 30
- Nomination Filing Deadline: November 6
- Nomination Scrutiny: November 7
- Nomination Withdrawal Deadline: November 9
This change in election date has garnered positive reactions from political figures. BJP MP Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, who is contesting the assembly election from Jhotwara in Jaipur, welcomed the decision, stating, “This is a good thing. The Election Commission wants more voting to happen…This is a good decision…I welcome it.”
Rajasthan’s Congress co-incharge Amrita Dhawan also expressed her approval, highlighting the significance of Ekadashi as a significant festival. She said, “It is good that the Election Commission has taken everything into consideration. Ekadashi is a big festival…The voting percentage will also be affected now that the date has been postponed, and voters will come out (to cast their vote)…Congress will win.”
Rajasthan, with its 200 assembly constituencies, is currently governed by the Congress under the leadership of Ashok Gehlot. In the previous assembly elections, the Congress emerged as the single largest party by winning 100 seats. The party formed the government with the support of the Bahujan Samaj Party and independent MLAs. The BJP, on the other hand, secured 73 seats, unable to break the trend of parties not retaining power. In the 2013 assembly election, the BJP had won 163 seats.
The rescheduled election in Rajasthan aligns with the ECI’s broader schedule for state elections, including Madhya Pradesh (November 17), Chhattisgarh (November 7 and 17), Mizoram (November 7), and Telangana (November 30). The vote count for all these states will take place on December 3, and these elections are seen as a precursor to the 2024 Lok Sabha election.
The Rajasthan assembly election is expected to be a direct contest between the BJP and Congress, both vying for supremacy in a state that also sends 25 members to the Lok Sabha.
Sources By Agencies