Rajasthan, Telangana set for date with democracy
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Rajasthan, Telangana set for date with democracy

Jaipur, Dec 6: Rajasthan and Telangana are all set to keep their tryst with democracy on Friday.

Voting to elect the 15th Rajasthan state assembly will be held on Friday at 51,687 polling stations in 33 districts amid adequate arrangements to facilitate slightly around 47.44 million voters to exercise their franchise to decide the fortunes of 2,274 contestants, including 187 women.

Single phase polling will be held between 0800 hrs and 1700 hrs in 199 of the total 200 assembly constituencies. The election on Ramgarh seat in Alwar district has been countermanded following the death of Bahujan Samaj Party nominee Laxman Singh Chaudhary.

A total of 51,687 polling stations-of them over 13,000 critical or sensitive--have been set up at 35,971 locations for 4,74,37,761 voters, including 2, 27,15, 396 women, Chief Electoral Officer Anand Kumar said here.

As many as 4,146 villages have been identified as vulnerable and more than 20,000 trouble mongers were restrained.

Authorities have made due preparations and scaled up security for smooth and fair polls. Polling parties have departed for their respective booths.

As many as 1,44,941 police personnel--including 640 companies of central para military forces--have been deployed for glitch-free voting.

Extra care will be taken to facilitate differently abled voters. Election Commission has deputed volunteers from the National Cadet Corps to provide conveyance and wheelchairs as per the need, the CEO added.

The mandate in the erstwhile princely state will be proclaimed on December 11 along with Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram.

It is billed as by and large an affair between the traditional rivals, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the principal opposition Indian National Congress with sideshows by the Bahujan Samaj Party, Leftists, Aam Aadmi Party and breakaway groups. They count estranged BJP leaders Hanuman Beniwal and Ghanshyam Tiwari and some influential rebels, including four members of the Vasundhara Raje Council of Ministers.

The ruling BJP has fielded candidates on all seats, INC 195 leaving five for allies Rashtriya Lok Dal, Janata Dal (Sharad Yadav faction) and Nationalist Congress Party.

The BSP is in the contest on 196 seats and newbie Aam Aadmi Party has also thrown its hat in the ring.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) is in the fray on 28 seats, two more than the number of CPI nominees.

In the present 14th House, the BJP holds 160 seats, Congress 25, BSP and National Unionist Zamindari Party two each, National Peoples Party of independent Rajya Sabha lawmaker Kirodi Lal Meena one and Independents seven. Three seats are vacant. (UNI)