Voting starts in Rajasthan

May 7th, 2009 - 9:36 am ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Jaipur, May 7 (IANS) Polling in 25 Lok Sabha seats of Rajasthan began Thursday morning amid tight security.
Voting began at 7 a.m. at 42,702 polling booths, including 6 mobile booths in Jaisalmer.

Nine constituencies have been declared sensitive and security measures have been beefed up in these areas, a poll official said.

The sensitive areas include Dausa, Tonk-Sawaimadhopur, Karauli-Dholpur, Alwar, Bharatpur, Jaipur rural, Bhilwara, Jhalawar-Baran and Chittorgarh. Over 86,000 security personnel have been deployed to ensure fair and peaceful elections.

In all, 36 million people, including 17.2 million women, are eligible to exercise their franchise to decide the fate of 346 candidates.

The main contestants are the Congress party’s Sachin Pilot in Ajmer, Girja Vyas in Chittorgarh and C.P. Joshi in Bhilwara, and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Manvendra Singh in Barmer, Dushyant Singh in Jhalawar and K.S. Bainsla in Tonk-Sawaimadhopur.

Buta Singh and Meena leader Kirori Lal Meena are fighting from Jalore and Dausa respectively as independents.

The BJP, under the leadership of Vasundhara Raje, is trying to hold on to the 21 seats it had won in the 2004 parliamentary elections.

The Congress is trying to increase its tally from the four seats it won in the last Lok Sabha polls.

It has always been a two party contest in the state. This time, however, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), rebels and independents are trying to make a dent in the vote bank of both the major parties.

In eight of the 25 constituencies, the contest is three cornered this time.

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