Jaipur, April 17 (IANS) Long queues were seen at polling stations as balloting picked up in the first phase of Lok Sabha election in 20 of the 25 constituencies in Rajasthan.
“We have recorded 13.7 percent polling till 9 a.m. Balloting has been peaceful so far and is expected to pick up,” an official told IANS.
The maximum voter turnout of over 19.30 percent was reported from Sri Ganganagar constituency, while Kota reported polling of only 3.72 percent of the electorate in the first two hours, officials said.
In 2009 Lok Sabha election, the state recorded over 48.46 percent of voting.
Reports of problems in EVMs came in from different districts, where the machines were repaired or changed.
“The voting began at 7 a.m. at over 38,220 polling stations spread in these 20 constituencies. We have made elaborate security arrangements for peaceful polls,” an election official here told IANS.
In all, over 80,000 security personnel have been deployed in the state to conduct peaceful and fair elections.
Over 34 million voters will decide the fate of 239 candidates, who are in the fray.
The political fate of Sachin Pilot, C.P. Joshi, Girja Vyas, Chandresh Kumari, Jitendra Singh of the Congress and Sanwar Lal Jat, a minister in Vasundhara Raje government and Olympic silver-medalist shooter Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore of the BJP will be decided.
Former BJP leader Jaswant Singh and former Congress leader Buta Singh are fighting as independents.
The Congress and the BJP are fighting on all 20 seats, while the AAP is contesting on 17 and the BSP on 18 seats.
The state is likely to witness a keen tussle between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress. In the last Lok Sabha polls, Congress won 20 seats and the BJP won four, while one seat was won by an independent.
It has normally been a two-party contest in the state.
This time, however, AAP and Mayawati’s BSP are trying to make a dent in the vote bank of both the major parties.