Polling in Rajasthan ends peacefullyDecember 4th, 2008 - 7:12 pm ICT by IANS
Jaipur, Dec 4 (IANS) Polling to elect a new 200-seat Rajasthan legislative assembly ended at 5 p.m. Thursday amid enthusiastic voters turning up in large numbers to exercise their franchise. Officials said barring sporadic skirmishes between supporters of various political parties, the polling passed off peacefully under tight police security. Rajasthan has 36 million voters, including 17.2 million women.
“The voting that ended at 5 p.m. at 42,212 polling stations spread across the state was peaceful. We had made elaborate security arrangements for peaceful polls,” an election official here told IANS.
Over 8,400 polling stations were declared sensitive - official euphemism for areas which may see violence. Security was beefed up in these areas, he added.
The polling started on a brisk note, but slowed in the afternoon. By 2 p.m. it was around 35-40 percent, and if political pundits are to be believed the voting percentage this time may not be as high as in 2003 when it had touched 67.18 percent.
The Congress fought for all 200 seats, the BJP 193 and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) 199. There were 2,193 candidates in the fray.