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Congress ahead in 98 seats in Rajasthan

December 08, 2008 10:50 IST
Last Updated: December 08, 2008 13:20 IST

The Congress is leading in 98 and the Bharatiya Janata Party is ahead in 67 in Rajasthan.

Trends are out in 190 of 200 constituencies.

Mayawati's [Images] Bahujan Samaj Party is ahead in four seats, the Communist Party of India-Marxist in two and the Janata Dal-United and the Samajwadi Party are leading in one each. Others are leading in 17 seats.

All India Congress Committee general secretary Ashok Gehlot, who spearheaded the party's campaign in the state, and Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje of the BJP were leading from their Sardarpura and Jhalrapatan constituencies respectively.

"Everybody is relieved that the BJP is on its way out. People were being terrorised during the BJP rule," Gehlot said.

Asked who the next chief minister would be if the party gets a majority, Gehlot said the party high command would take a decision on the matter.

Bharatiya Janata Party's central leaders have also questioned the process of selection of candidates for the Rajasthan elections. Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje is said to have had a greater say.

"It's hit-wicket," Prakash Javadekar said, "I think we went wrong on the candidate selection. This factor has undoubtedly influenced the results." He said the delay in launching the poll campaign could also be a factor for the BJP's loss.

Raje apparently had a free hand in the selection of candidates, with two ministers and more than four dozen sitting legislators being dropped. At one point, the selection process came to a standstill with the chief minister and state president Om Mathur locking horns on the issue, party sources said.

"Neglect of some senior members of the party is also being seen as a cause of the defeat," another party leader, who did not want to be named, said. Senior BJP leaders like Bhairon

Singh Shekhawat and Jaswant Singh had a minimal role in the party's poll campaign.

Ahead of the elections, the state unit also suffered desertions, including former political secretary to the chief minister Vishwendra Singh who joined the Congress. He is said to have influenced the voting pattern against the BJP in Bharatpur [Images].

Defending Raje, party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said "the chief minister has performed well but local factors may have gone against her."

"The party will look into the details and make sure that the loopholes are mended before the Lok Sabha polls," he said.


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