Rajasthan is due for polls on 25 November, pitting the incumbent Congress government of Ashok Gehlot against a resurgent Bharatiya Janata Party and a plethora of smaller parties and independent candidates who often find favour with voters in the state. An electorate of 5.26 crore voters, with 200 constituencies in 53 districts, and 1,875 candidates facing off during the polls, make elections in the desert state a chaotic affair. Here, The Caravan breaks down the key parties, regions, candidates and constituencies of the polls.
Rajasthan is among the states most prone to anti-incumbency in the country, electing alternate Congress and BJP governments since 1993, when the saffron party won its first full five-year term, under Bhairon Singh Shekhawat. Ever since, the two party’s fates have been tied to their principal leaders, who have traded the chief ministerial post back and forth—Gehlot for the Congress, and Vasundhara Raje for the BJP. If the anti-incumbency trend were to continue, this election could be a shoo-in for the BJP, but several factors stymie such an easy explanation of the state’s political future.