Rajasthan Assembly Elections 2018: Assembly elections in Rajasthan are scheduled to be held in single phase on December 7, 2018. In the last elections in 2013, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had won a majority in the 200-seat Rajasthan Assembly. Results for Rajasthan Assembly elections 2018 will be declared on December 11 along with results of Assembly elections in four other states - Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram. The tenure of Rajasthan Assembly ends on January 20, 2019. The last date for filing of nominations is November 19 and scrutiny of nominations will be on November 20, 2018. Last date for withdrawal of candidature is November 22, 2018.
Voting will take place on December 7 and counting of votes is scheduled for December 11, 2018. As per the Election Commission, the election process must be completed before December 13, 2018. While the main contest in Rajasthan is between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress, Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and other smaller parties are also eyeing a good share of seats. There are 34 SC and 25 ST seats out of the total 200 seats in Rajasthan Assembly.
Just as the election is approaching, it is clear that certain issues may make or break the chances of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to retain power in the state. Here are some of the issues that will have their own role in deciding the fate of Rajasthan:
Issue of lesser employment opportunities among youth might severely dent the prospects for BJP to retain power in Rajasthan this time. According to data from CMIE's Statistic Profile for May-August 2018, unemployment rate was a shocking 55 per cent in Rajasthan among the youth in the age group of 20-29 years. Much of this was also reflected in the 14 per cent figure, which was the unemployment among graduates. Before BJP came to power with an unprecedented victory in 2013, Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje had promised 1.5 million jobs. However, the present situation of employment opportunities to youth may play its role in making or breaking the future prospects for the saffron party in Rajasthan.
The farming community and their issues are likely to take the centre stage when election in Rajasthan takes place. This is because the agricultural community, from farmers working on the field to members of unions fighting for their rights, has been at the loggerheads with the BJP government for quite some time now. Farmers from all sections of the state, be it producers of onion, garlic, mustard, soybean or moong, claimed to have faces losses in recent years, resulting in mental agony and stress. The issue of distress among farmers, their demands and suicides is going to play one of the most significant role and could also cost BJP a hefty chunk of rural voters. Five farmers from Hadoti region had committed suicide over garlic prices hitting rock bottom due to bumper crop. The state government was compelled to announced farm loan waivers of up to Rs 50,000 for small and marginal farmers. Farmers, who were unhappy with the Centre's announcement of hiking the MSP, have demanded that Swaminathan Commission's recommendations be used in the formula for calculating the Minimum Support Price.
There has been dissatisfaction with the administration in Rajasthan over reservations and quotas in government jobs. The Rajputs, who have been traditional supporters of the BJP from the Jan Sangh days, are irked over the move of Rajput leader Manvendra Singh joining the Congress weeks before elections. Discontment among Rajputs is also because Raje picked Rajya Sabha MP and OBC leader Madanlal Saini over Rajput leader Gajendra Shekhawat as the party chief. Fissues started to appear between the community and the Raje government when aggressive protests took place against the release of the film Padmaavat. Meanwhile, Gujjars are demanding Scheduled Tribe status, which has been awarded to the Minas.