Vasundhara Raje-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has failed to protect its fort in Rajasthan and the Congress appears set to form government in the state after Assembly election results showed the party heading towards the majority mark. Both the BJP and Congress were locked in an intense battle for hours on Tuesday while the votes were counted. However, by 3.30 pm it was clear that the Congress has dethroned 'Maharani' Vasundhara in Rajasthan.
As per the trends/results available till the filing of this report, the Congress won 103 seats, BJP 70 and others 26 seats in the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly. Polling on Alwar's Ramgarh constituency was however, postponed following the death of the BSP candidate there. A party now needs to win 100 seats to form government in the state.
The trend that BJP and Congress parties are voted to power alternately appears to continue in the state. Neither the BJP or the Congress have been able to win consecutive Assembly elections in Rajasthan since 1993.
Sources said the Congress is in favour of Ashok Gehlot, who won from Sardarpura seat, taking over the CM chair. However, a final decision is yet to be taken. Party's Rajasthan unit president Sachin Pilot defeated BJP's only Muslim candidate Yoonus Khan from Tonk constituency.
Congress candidates Johri Lal Meena (Rajgarh-Laxmangarh), Madan Prajapapat (Pachpadra), Zahida Khan (Kaman), Ramlal Jat (Mandal) and Prashant Bairwa (Niwai) won, while BJP's Santosh (Anupgarh), Kaluram (Dag), Sama Ram Garaisa (Pindwara-Abu), Jagsi Ram (Reodar) also won the Assembly election.
Former chief minister Ashok Gehlot said people have given their mandate to the Congress and it will get clear majority in the state and form government.
"Congress will form government. This is the mandate of public, which is in favour of the Congress party. We will get clear majority and will also take along other parties or candidates who quit BJP for us," Gehlot told reporters in Jaipur.
In 2013, the BJP got 163 seats and a vote share of 46.03 per cent. The Congress bagged 21 seats with a vote share of 34.27 per cent.
Rajasthan had recorded a turnout of 74.21 per cent polling for Assembly election held on December. In 2013, the voter turnout 75.23 per cent.
Both the Congress and the BJP pushed hard to lure voters in Rajasthan. While the BJP counted on its 'star' campaigner Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who addressed 12 major rallies, Congress president Rahul Gandhi addressed nine big election gatherings in the state. BJP has also roped in party president Amit Shah, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to seek votes for Vasundhara, however, the efforts seems to have failed.
On the other hand, Congress state president Sachin Pilot and veteran leader and former CM Ashok Gehlot gave their all to secure party's victory.