The sands of Rajasthan are once again set to witness a political showdown as the state gears up for the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly elections, expected to be held by the end of 2023. With 200 assembly seats up for grabs, this electoral contest promises to be one of the most closely watched battles in the Indian political landscape. In this article, we delve into the key aspects of the upcoming Rajasthan Assembly Elections 2023.
Election Dates and Schedule
The Election Commission of India (ECI) is poised to announce the voting and counting dates for the Rajasthan Assembly Elections 2023 in October 2023. This election is expected to be conducted in a single phase, and as soon as the ECI makes the announcement, the Model Code of Conduct will come into immediate effect. In the last assembly election held in 2018, voting took place in a single phase on December 7, with vote counting conducted on December 11, following the release of the election schedule in early October.
Total Seats in the Rajasthan Assembly Election 2023
Rajasthan’s legislative assembly comprises 200 seats, and in the 2018 elections, the Congress secured 99 seats, falling just two seats short of the majority threshold of 101. Nevertheless, they managed to surpass this mark with support from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD). In contrast, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) finished a close second with 73 seats. The upcoming election is expected to see both parties fiercely contesting every seat to gain an upper hand in the state.
Candidates for the Chief Minister’s Position
The question of who will be the Chief Ministerial candidates for the major political parties participating in the Rajasthan Assembly Election remains uncertain. For the Congress, there is speculation surrounding the current Chief Minister, Ashok Gehlot, while the BJP has yet to announce its chief ministerial candidate. However, Vasundhara Raje is considered the frontrunner. In the absence of a consensus, the BJP may enter the elections without declaring a Chief Ministerial candidate, making the contest even more intriguing.
Party-Wise Manifestos for the Rajasthan Elections 2023
The battle for Rajasthan will be primarily fought between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress, and the manifestos they release will provide a glimpse into their vision for the state. However, these manifestos will only be unveiled after the Election Commission announces the election dates.
In the 2018 BJP manifesto, promises were made to create five million jobs over the next five years, provide a monthly unemployment allowance of Rs 5,000 to the jobless, establish a loan relief commission in each division, and create a Rs 250 crore rural start-up fund to enhance farmers’ income. The manifesto also pledged to identify and deport Rohingyas and Bangladeshis who had illegally settled in the state, as well as offer Indian citizenship to the children of displaced Hindus from Pakistan, numbering around 500,000 in Rajasthan.
On the other hand, the 2018 Congress manifesto, titled ‘Jan Ghoshna Patra,’ pledged to provide loan waivers to farmers, free education for girls and women, an unemployment benefit of up to Rs 3,500 for educated youth, and a pension for old farmers. It also aimed to exempt agriculture equipment and tractors from the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
As the election dates draw near, Rajasthan’s political landscape is poised for a seismic shift. The voters will play a pivotal role in determining the direction the state takes, and the promises outlined in the party manifestos will undoubtedly be closely scrutinized. It remains to be seen which party will gain the trust of the people and secure control of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly in 2023.
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