August 18, 2015 4:17:01 am
Elections to 129 urban local bodies in 31 districts of Rajasthan were conducted “peacefully,” barring a few stray incidents, on Monday.
Both Congress and BJP expressed confidence about winning the polls with a huge margin.
The voter turnout, at the time of filing this report, was 76 per cent, State Election Commissioner Ram Lubhaya said. The turnout was significantly higher than that of last year’s polls, which was about 60 per cent, he said.
State BJP chief Ashok Parnami thanked the people for voting in large numbers and said the higher turnout was an indicator of people’s faith in democracy.
“People are fed up of the BJP government over the last 20 months and they are looking at the Congress for hope and change. We will win by a comfortable majority,” state Congress president Sachin Pilot said.
Monday’s elections will decide the fate of over 10,000 candidates for one municipal corporation (Ajmer), 15 municipal councils and 113 municipalities.
In order to prevent “horse-trading”, the BJP has instructed party officials to hold “three-day training camps” at the municipal level from Monday, where all party candidates will be holed up till the announcement of results.
Of the 46 urban local bodies that went to polls last November, the BJP had won 31, including five out of six municipal corporations.
Polling began on Monday morning with reports of two EVM machines being tampered with at Fatehpur in Sikar after supporters of two candidates in ward 29 got into a scuffle.
The delay caused due to the clash and the damaged EVMs would be compensated by providing extra time at such booths, Lubhaya had said.
In Chomu, the police arrested a “history sheeter” with Rs 1.35 lakh cash. The man was allegedly trying to help one of his relatives, a candidate from one of the wards in Chomu, by luring voters with money.
Counting will commence at 8 am Thursday.
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