Cong races ahead in Rajasthan, 12 BJP ministers trailing
Jaipur, Dec 11: Early trends indicated that the Congress was headed for a majority in Rajasthan, taking the lead in 89 seats while the ruling BJP is ahead in 62 constituencies, with 12 of its ministers trailing behind their rivals.
State Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria and Transport Minister Yoonus Khan are among those trailing after the initial rounds of counting, according to the state election commission’s website.
Independents are leading in 10 seats and candidates of other parties are ahead in five seats. The BSP is leading in one seat, and the CPIM in two.
Ministers who are trailing are — Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria (Udaipur), Transport Minister Yoonus Khan (Tonk), Social Justice Minister Arun Chaturvedi (Civil Lines), Water Resources Minister Rampratap (Hanumangarh), Agriculture Minister Prabhu Lal Saini (Anta), UDH Minister Srichand Kriplani (Nimahera), Gaupalan Minister Otaram Devasi (Sirohi seat), Health Minister Kalicharan (Malvia Nagar), Cooperative Minister Ajay Singh (Degana), Mines Minister Surendra Pal Singh (Karanpura), Higher Education Minister Kiran Maheshwari (Rajsamand) and Industry Minister Rajpal Singh (Jhotwara).
Former minister Gajendra Singh is trailing in Lohawat. Panchayati Raj Minister Rajendra Rathore is leading in Churu with a margin of 1,157 votes.
Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje is leading in the Jhalrapatan constituency by over 4,000 votes. The Congress has fielded veteran BJP leader Jaswant Singh’s son Manvendra Singh from the seat.
PCC president Sachin Pilot is leading in Tonk by 2,007 votes, while former CM Ashok Gehlot is leading in Sardarpura by 5,112 votes.
Congress candidate and discus throw gold medallist in the 2010 Commonwealth Games Krishna Poonia is leading in the Sadulpur constituency by 646 votes.
The BJP MP from Barmer, Sonaram, is trailing, while party candidate and Assembly Speaker Kailash Meghwal is leading by 3,411 votes in Bhilwara’s Shahpura seat.
Rastriya Loktantrik Party leader Hanuman Beniwal is ahead in Khinvsar by 1,345 votes.
The BJP is fighting to keep the state it wrested from the Congress five years ago. Most of the exit polls have predicted a win for the Congress. Rajasthan has 200 assembly seats, but voting was held in only 199 as polling was countermanded in one seat due to death of a candidate.