46 civic bodies go to polls today in R'than

Around 63 lakh voters in the state will cast their ballot for the 46 civic bodies including six municipal corporations on Saturday.

Interestingly, 16 candidates have already won before the polling date. These are the unopposed candidates, as those contesting against them have been disqualified by the Chief Election Officer. Of these, 10 candidates are from the Bharatiya Janata Party and six from the Congress.

In all, 7,375 candidates are in fray in 1,680 wards. The electronic voting machines (EVM) will be used and results will be announced on November 25.

“Voting will take place to the six municipal corporations of Jaipur, Kota, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Udaipur and Bharatpur, 18 municipal councils and 22 municipalities. Elaborate arrangements have been made and extra security forces have been deployed at all booths,” said Ramlubhaya, Commissioner, Rajasthan State Election Commission.

Both the Congress and BJP have mobilised their resources for the elections.
Interestingly, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has announced to keep itself away from the elections and has given freehand to its workers to support the candidate of their choice. The new development has changed the political equation in several wards which may be troublesome for the state BJP.

Several of its workers and those with the RSS background are denied the party ticket. Many of them are contesting as rebels against the party candidates. With no directions from top leadership, a number of RSS workers can be seen campaigning with these rebels, which may damage the BJP in small pockets.

Meanwhile, elaborate security arrangements have been made throughout the state for the polls. More than 32,000 armed personnels of state police, Rajasthan Armed Constabulary and Home Guards will be deployed.

Apart from the BJP and Congress, the Aam Admi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have fielded their candidates in several wards.

The BSP has fielded its candidates in the entire eastern Rajasthan and Shekhawati belt following a large number of Dalit voters. The BSP is the only party after the BJP and the Congress which has marked its presence in Rajasthan in the past few years. In 2008 Assembly polls, BSP won six seats in Rajasthan and in 2013 elections it won three seats.

By fielding candidates in the local body elections, the party has gone a step ahead to strengthen itself at the grass-root level.

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