High voter-turnout in Rajasthan keeps BJP, Congress guessing

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on May 06, 2019

The high turnout in Rajasthan at 64 per cent till 6 pm on Monday is keeping both the BJP and the Congress guessing.

Both the parties were not confident of complete polling from their strong pockets. The BJP camp is unsure of ensuring that all upper caste votes, its traditional base, are polled. The initial calculations of the Congress is that the minority votes have not polled as expected. In 2014, the polling in the 12 constituencies was about 61.80 per cent.

For the record, BJP workers are hoping that the party’s well-oiled machinery and the help of Sangh Parivar organisations might be the reason behind the higher turnout. The Congress workers feel that the anti-incumbency against the Narendra Modi government is reflecting in the higher turnout, as seen on April 29, where 13 constituencies of the State went to polls.

But in constituencies such as Nagaur, Congress and BJP workers were unhappy as the Muslim and Rajput votes didn’t poll as expected.

“We were expecting that more than 60 per cent Muslim votes will be polled. But our report from the booths is that just a little more than 50 per cent minority votes have polled,” a Congress functionary from Nagaur said.

The BJP’s worry in Nagaur is that Rajput votes have not polled as expected. As per the initial calculation by the BJP, only 50 per cent of the Rajput votes were polled by 5 pm. “But the base votes of Hanuman Beniwal have been polled without fail,” a BJP worker said.

In farmers’ belt

In the farmers’ belt too, the Jat voting pattern is keeping both the parties guessing. In Nagaur, Jhunjhunu and Churu, the BJP expects that the Jat votes will favour it. But in Sikar, Bikaner and Jaipur Rural, the party is not sure about the Jat votes.

Farm distress and unemployment were the key issues for the second phase in Rajasthan.

The BJP was trying to use the “love and respect” young voters have towards Modi and the anti-terrorist operations by the defence forces. The Congress was hopeful that measures such as loan waiver will help it to win farmer votes.

Published on May 06, 2019

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