A Two-Party Fight For Rajasthan’s 200 Seats: Prannoy Roy’s Analysis

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The Congress is contesting the election under Sachin Pilot's leadership.

Jaipur:

Rajasthan, one of the three key cowbelt states going to polls in the penultimate round of assembly polls, is one where the Congress is hoping to win big. Over the last five elections, the state has exhibited a "revolving-door policy", never voting in the incumbent government. The Congress is hoping to ride this tide. But pointing out that the state had kept the Congress in power for 50 years, Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje claims her government has worked tirelessly and she is "happy about the general… sort of mood".

Since 1993, the state has swung between the Congress and the BJP every alternate election. But to come to power this time, the Congress needs a huge 8 per cent swing.

Data from the three by-elections in the state in February, however, shows a massive 17 per cent swing against the BJP.

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Recent panchayat and municipal elections in the state also produced worrying results for the ruling party.

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The BJP defeated the Congress in the 2013 elections, winning a clear majority in the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly.

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Since the 1993 elections, Rajasthan has alternated between the Congress and the BJP every five years.

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The Congress needs an 8 per cent swing to win a majority in the 200-member Rajasthan assembly.

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A look at how castes are spread across Rajasthan and the possibility of a major shift in the way they vote. The BJP has support among the forward castes, Gujjars, the Jats and the Rajputs. The Scheduled Castes and Tribes and Muslims have traditionally lean towards the Congress.

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Election Commission figures show a higher turnout in the assembly elections, rather than Lok Sabha polls in the state.

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In the 2013 Rajasthan elections, more women voted than men. This time, the turnout of women voters could be even higher.

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The state has 21 bellwether seats to watch out for during the counting. Kumbhalgarh has always voted for the party that had won the state in the last 37 years. Sujangarh has done the same for 24 years.

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Can the BJP defy tradition and win a second consecutive term in Rajasthan? Here's what opinion polls suggest.

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Voting for the 200-member assembly will be held on Friday. The results will be declared on December 11 along with four other states.

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