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Here’s Why Rajasthan Went to Polls on 199 Seats Out of the Total 200


Rajasthan went to polls on Friday, with voting held on 199 Assembly seats out of 200 in the state. The one seat which did not feature on the poll date was Ramgarh in Alwar district.

Election Commission had postponed polls in Ramgarh constituency due to death of a candidate contesting the seat.

BSP candidate Laxman Singh passed away on November 29, leading to postponement of polling in the constituency. Singh, 62, suffered a cardiac arrest that led to his death. “BSP candidate Laxman Singh died on Thursday morning. Elections are postponed on death of any candidate and next date of election on the seat will be notified by the Election Commission of India,” Pankaj Kumar, returning officer of Ramgarh, had told PTI.

The Election Commission has not yet notified the polling date for Ramgarh. According to former journalist and political analyst Narayan Bareth, Ramgarh is likely to go to polls after the election results on December 11.
There were as many as 21 candidates in the fray from Ramgarh seat. The seat is currently held by BJP’s Gyan Dev Ahuja, the legislator who became infamous for his ‘condoms in JNU’ comment. Ahuja, who often gave controversial statements, had also said that those indulging in cow slaughter would be dealt with violence. In December 2017, Ahuja had said, “If you smuggle, slaughter cows, you will be killed,” drawing flak from the opposition parties.

Ahuja has been elected to Assembly two times in a row from Ramgarh. He was, however, dropped by the BJP this time around. The party fielded Sukhwant Singh against Congress’ Safia Khan for the seat.

Ahuja had rebelled after the announcement of final candidate list, but was later pacified after a meet with BJP president Amit Shah in Jaipur.

This is not the first time the death of a candidate has resulted in postponement of polls in a constituency in Rajasthan. In 2013 polls, another BSP candidate Jagdish Meghwal from Churu constituency had died and the elections were held on 199 seats. Churu later went to poll on December 13, 2013.

On the evening of the polling date, all major exit polls predicted a comfortable majority over the requisite 101 seats for Sachin Pilot-led Congress in the state. After polling, Pilot thanked the people of Rajasthan for the turnout and expressed gratitude on Twitter. “We will forever be grateful for the love you have shown Congress party with your vote and support today and we vow to repay your trust. Thank you to you all,” Pilot tweeted on Friday evening.

The results for Rajasthan elections and four other key polling states (Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Telangana) are slated for December 11.

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