Candidates pray to gods as voters seal their fate

Polling day gets festive look in R'than

Some of the candidates in Rajasthan began the voting day Sunday by visiting temples. Former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, wearing a saree with the BJP colours, went to a Hanuman temple in Jhalawar district before casting her vote.

Some candidates performed havans too.

The polling day turned into a near festive occasion in Rajasthan. Many voters were in their traditional and colourful dresses. Some came out in new clothes. “I always buy new clothes when I vote. This time I bought this kurta,” said a proud Shahnawa, an 80-year-old from Jaipur’s Walled City area.

In some villages, women in traditional outfits sang songs and danced on their way to polling centres. “It is like a festival for us,” said Hira Meena of Shivdaspura.

A bridegroom in wedding regalia came to a polling booth in a village near Merta city immediately after balloting opened at 8 am. “I will now go for my wedding. I want to tell people how important it is to vote,” said Piyush.

For some people, however, the polling day was a holiday to relax and watch movies. Cinema theatres across the state reported heavy crowds.

“I am here with my friends to watch a movie. I did not go to vote. I am not interested in these politicians,” said Niharika, a 19-year-old college student.

Two brothers fought over who will vote first in Devalia village near Nasirabad in Ajmer district. Police had to separate the siblings. Enthusiasm to vote was so high among the elderly that a 95-year-old woman was brought to the polling booth on a cot by her relatives in Sanganer village.

“I do not want to miss the opportunity to vote. Though I am not feeling well, I asked my sons to take me,” said the old woman. Another 102-year-old woman was similarly ferried in Jaipur.

Electronic voting machines developed snags in various places including Ajmer and Kota. In the process, voting started after a two-hour delay in Jodhpur district’s Shergarh village.

Comments (+)