Rajasthan records 74 % turnout; Telangana 67 %

Jaipur: About 74 per cent of the 4.74 crore registered voters had cast their vote in Rajasthan where elections were held on Friday for 199 of the 200 assembly seats. At the close of the polling, the Election Commission said the turnout 73.85 per cent, less than a percentage point short of the 75.23 registered in 2013. Officials said the final figure could be higher.

Polling began at 51,687 booths across the state at 8 am. The police reported a few clashes among supporters, but said polling was largely peaceful. Paramilitary jawans opened fire in the air to disperse miscreants trying to force their way into a booth at a village in Alwar’s Shahjahapur.

In Bikaner’s Kolayat, two groups clashed outside a polling booth and a vehicle was torched. In Sikar too there was a clash.
Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, Pradesh Congress Committee chief Sachin Pilot and other leaders were among those who exercised their franchise.

Raje (Jhalrapatan), Pilot (Tonk), former chief minister Ashok Gehlot (Sardarpura) are among the 2,274 candidates in the fray.
The election in Ramgarh constituency of Alwar district was put off following the death of Bahujan Samaj Party candidate Laxman Singh.

In Telangana, an estimated 67 per cent of over 2.80 crore voters cast their ballots on Friday in an election that will test the popularity of the ruling TRS supremo K Chandrasekhar Rao and the wisdom of the great gamble he made in going for early elections.

Barring stray incidents of clashes and malfunctioning of voting machines at a few places, the polling was largely peaceful, including in areas affected by Maoist insurgency. “As of 5 pm, we have reports that the polling was at 67 per cent. Webcasting shows that some people are still in queues. So, we expect the polling to go up by another two per cent,” the state’s chief electoral officer Rajat Kumar told reporters.

Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Jitender told PTI that the entire polling process was “incident free”.
However, independent reports said TRS and Congress workers clashed at a place in Nagar Kurnool district. Kumar said there was a delay in start of polling at some booths on accounts of malfunctioning of EVMs and voter verifiable paper audit trail machines.

Thirty odd complaints of model code violation were also received. Vote was taken for all the 119 seats of Telangana assembly for the first time after the division of Andhra Pradesh and creation of India’s youngest state in 2014. Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Governor ESL Narasimhan, caretaker Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, ministers K T Rama Rao and T Harish Rao, BJP’s Telangana president K Laxman, state Congress chief Uttam Kumar Reddy and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi were among leaders who cast their ballots. The results will be out on December 11, along with those from the other four states which saw Assembly elections in the past few weeks.

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