11th October 2023,Mumbai: The Election Commission of India has made a significant decision to change the dates of the Rajasthan assembly elections, rescheduling them from November 23 to November 25. This alteration was prompted by representations from various political parties and social organizations, citing the inconvenience caused by large-scale weddings and social engagements on the initially proposed date.
New Election Timeline
As per the new schedule announced by the Election Commission of India (ECI), the date for issuing the gazette notification is set for October 30. The last date for filing nomination papers is November 6, followed by the scrutiny of nominations on November 7. The final opportunity to withdraw nominations is scheduled for November 9. These key dates form the foundation for a democratic process that empowers citizens to participate actively in shaping their state’s governance.
Welcoming the Change
The decision to shift the election dates has been met with approval from various quarters. BJP MP Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore expressed his support for the change, stating, “This is a good thing. The Election Commission wants more voting to happen…This is a good decision…I welcome it.” His endorsement highlights the broader consensus on the rescheduling of election dates for the benefit of voters.
Rajasthan’s Electoral Landscape
Rajasthan, a state with 200 assembly constituencies, is gearing up for a crucial election as the term of the state assembly is set to expire on January 14 next year. In the larger context of Indian politics, the election in Rajasthan is part of a series of state elections, including Madhya Pradesh (scheduled for November 17), Chhattisgarh (scheduled for November 7 and 17), Mizoram (scheduled for November 7), and Telangana (scheduled for November 30). The counting of votes for these states will take place on December 3. These state elections are seen as a prelude to the 2024 Lok Sabha election, making them even more significant.
BJP vs. Congress: The Battle in Rajasthan
The political landscape of Rajasthan is dominated by a fierce battle between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Indian National Congress. With 25 members to send to the Lok Sabha, Rajasthan’s role in shaping national politics is crucial. The assembly elections in the state will determine the direction and strength of these political forces.
Incumbent Congress Government
Currently, Rajasthan is under the governance of the Indian National Congress, led by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. In the previous assembly elections, the Congress emerged as the single largest party by securing 100 seats. To form the government, the party received support from the Bahujan Samaj Party and independent MLAs. This coalition allowed them to retain power, with the BJP falling short with 73 seats. The BJP’s inability to return to power in the state broke the pattern of parties not retaining power in Rajasthan. In the 2013 assembly election, the saffron party had won a significant majority of 163 seats.
The decision by the Election Commission of India to change the dates of the Rajasthan assembly elections reflects a thoughtful response to concerns raised by political parties and social organizations. This alteration in the election timeline not only accommodates the needs of the citizens but also serves as a significant milestone in the broader context of state elections across India. As Rajasthan prepares for its crucial assembly elections, the state’s political landscape remains divided between the BJP and Congress, with the potential to influence the national political stage in the years to come. The outcome of these elections will be closely watched, as it has the power to shape the state’s future and the dynamics of Indian politics.
-by Kashvi Gala