The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was heading for a landslide victory in Rajasthan on Sunday with the trends showing it in a comfortable position to form the next government after five years of Congress rule. The party was leading in 83 out of the 199 seats which went to polls, while its candidates won in 73 constituencies in the results declared by Sunday afternoon.
State BJP president Vasundhara Raje was declared winner in Jhalrapatan, while Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria registered a decisive victory in Udaipur.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot was leading in his home constituency Sardarpura in Jodhpur, even as his government was decimated.
The BJP’s strong return in the State and the defeat of Congress was beyond the expectation of political observers and defied all political calculations. Congress was ahead in 15 constituencies and had won nine seats in the results available by the afternoon.
Prominent among the Congress leaders who were trounced in the polls were Ministers Shanti Dhariwal (Kota North), Hemaram Chaudhary (Gudhamalani), Aimduddin Ahmed Khan (Tijara), Bina Kak (Sumerpur) and Naseem Akhtar Insaaf (Pushkar), while Finance Commission Chairman B. D. Kalla lost the Bikaner seat.
The National People’s Party brought to the State by Dausa MP Kirorilal Meena also depicted a lead in five constituencies, which included Lalsot, where Mr. Meena himself is contesting, and Mahuwa, where her wife and former Minister in the Ashok Gehlot government Golma Devi is the party candidate.
Bahujan Samaj Party was leading at three seats.
With the results in the party’s favour coming in, BJP activists started celebrations at the State headquarters and burst firecrackers. The Pradesh Congress Committee headquarter, on the other hand, wore a forlorn look.