POLITICS
10/12/2018 1:36 PM IST | Updated 10/12/2018 1:37 PM IST

Rajasthan Polls: Star Candidates, Turncoats To Watch For On Counting Day

Will BJP's Vasundara Raje come to power in Rajasthan again?

HIMANSHU SHARMA via Getty Images
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje speaks during an election rally on 4 December.

Rajasthan has been voting out the incumbent state government in every poll since 1993. And exit polls indicate that it is highly likely that BJP's Vasundhara Raje may not come back as chief minister.

Voting in the state on Friday saw a very high voter turnout of 72.6%. In 2013, the Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government came to power winning a thumping majority. The BJP had won 163 seats while the Congress only managed 21. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) had also won three seats in the last assembly election.

Ahead of counting on Tuesday here's a look at all the important candidates and constituencies.

READ:Exit Polls Give Clear Edge To Congress in Rajasthan

List of star candidates and their constituencies

Vasundhara Raje: The Chief Minister of Rajasthan, backed by the firepower of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speeches, put up a spirited campaign in the last days before the state went to polls. The spirited campaign managed to nudge popular conversations in the state away from the possibility of an indisputable victory for the Congress party to a situation in which this certainty gave way to a doubt and uncertainty about who will win. Her constituency Jhalrapatan also witnessed an electoral battle with a twist with ex BJP leader Manvendra Singh seeking to turn the contest around into one about self-respect for the Rajput community which had ostensibly been dishonoured by Raje.

Sachin Pilot: A media favourite with wide traction among urban youth and women, it is widely believed that Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot will become chief minister in the event of a comfortable victory for the Grand Old Party. Pilot has also managed to create a constituency for himself in the state on account of his consistent engagement with the state and its issues over the past five years so he is a man to watch. His assembly election campaign in the Tonk constituency witnessed an interesting battle with the only Muslim BJP candidate, minister Yunus Khan, being asked to contest against Pilot.

Ashok Gehlot: Active in the state politics for over four decades, Gehlot continues to command wide respect among people and may just surprise Pilot in the event of a close result in terms of number of seats won by Congress in which case his political skills will be sought more by the GOP. His contest in Sardarpura, an assembly constituency in Jodhpur, is expected to be smooth as he has been winning from here for decades.

Bellweather constituencies

South Rajasthan/Marwar region is seen as a bellweather region with its 30 plus seats.

Udaipur: Both the BJP and the Congress have fielded senior leaders in 74-year-old Gulab Chand Kataria and 72-year-old Girija Vyas respectively from Udaipur constituency. Kataria is the incumbent MLA from Udaipur and also the home minister in CM Raje's cabinet. Vyas is a former MP and MLA .

High-profile turncoats

Ghanshyam Tiwari: Six-time MLA was once an aspirant to the post of Chief Minister of Rajasthan. He reportedly believed himself to be in the league of ex-Chief Minister Bhairon Singh Shekhawat. However, he was shocked to learn that the central command paradropped Vasundhara Raje and ignored him in early 2000s. This time around, he left the party protesting against Raje. His candidature from the Sanganer seat has affected a sizeable number of upper casts voters of the BJP.

Hanuman Beniwal: The former BJP leader two time MLA and emerging Jat community leader is being projected as a big force in the Shekhawati region which has witnessed protests by Jat peasantry against the anti-farmer policies of the state government. He is contesting from Khinvsar.

Underdogs

Amra Ram: A farmers' leader and ex-CPM MLA, Ram has been a long standing kisan mobiliser in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan, which has led the most consequential agitations in the state in the recent past. He may just win and return to the assembly.