Results for the state assembly elections in five states will be clear in a few hours, and trends so far are pointing towards an uphill fight for the Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government in Rajasthan. Congress has taken lead in 100 seats and won one - one seat above the halfway mark - whereas the Bharatiya Janata Party is leading in 70 seats and has emerged victorious in three.
The electorate in the desert state seems to have favoured a change in ruling party, as if keeping tradition. No political party has been able to secure consecutive term in Rajasthan, with the past four election results see-sawing between BJP's Raje and Congress' Ashok Gehlot.
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As BJP government faces ouster and Congress is preparing to claim power in Rajasthan, here are a few things you should know about the state election results in the state:
- With only a close margin in favour, Congress is not taking any risks with the numbers game. The independents are likely to play a crucial role in determining the victor in 2018 Rajasthan state election results. Congress leader Sachin Pilot has said that the party is in touch with anti-BJP contenders to form government in Rajasthan. "We are in touch with anti-BJP candidates (winners). From CPM to BSP to other parties, we request whoever worked against BJP, to contact us. We are in touch with most already," Pilot said during a press conference earlier today.
- Apart from BJP and Congress, there are a lot of factors that need to be taken into account in Rajasthan state assembly election results. Other parties still have a lead on 25 seats in the state, and will be crucial in deciding whether Congress cements its place as the winner or BJP gets a fighting chance.
- If and when Congress comes to power in Rajasthan, it will have to choose between Ashok Gehlot, the two-time former Chief Minister of the state, or Sachin Pilot who returned to Rajasthan after his stint as a MP to lead Congress as the party president. Gehlot is a known face in Rajasthan and is recognised as a grounded politician. Being a CM twice gives him a track record to show. On the other hand, Pilot is a young face who has represented Congress in the Parliament. Also, he is close to Congress president Rahul Gandhi. However, both leaders have said that they are waiting for the Congress high command to pick a name.
- Sachin Pilot and Ashok Gehlot are expected to hold a joint press conference later today. Here they are expected to talk about gathering support from independent candidates to secure a decisive victory in the Rajasthan state elections.
- Even if, by some equation, BJP manages to clinch power in Rajasthan, it will be interesting to see whether Vasundhara Raje gets another stint as the CM. Anti-incumbency has been a factor in the state, and Congress has been claiming that the Raje government has failed to be true to the expectations of the voters.
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Edited by Vivek Punj