What Was the Deciding Factor in the Rajasthan Elections?


What Was the Deciding Factor in the Rajasthan Elections?

Illustration: Akshita Monga


n 2013, the Congress government in Rajasthan was staring down the barrel. An energetic opposition, led by the BJP, was able to make the most of Rajasthan’s reputation as a seesaw state, and sweep the election with a majority. Of the 200 seats in the Vidhan Sabha, the BJP won 160, and was able to restore Vasundhara Raje as CM, a post she earlier held between 2003 and 2008. Five years later, the tables might have turned. This time, it’s the BJP government with a target painted on its back as Rajasthan goes to polls, and the Congress that’s mounting a challenge to form a new government.

As the votes are being counted, the Congress has predictably taken the lead, but a clear majority is by no means in the bag. The manifestos released by both Congress and BJP in the run-up are a good indicator of the number of problems the incoming government will have to face: From farmers’ issues over Minimum Support Price and loan waivers, the matter of overhauling the education infrastructure and syllabus, and the omnipresent cow politics, the political landscape in Rajasthan resembles a minefield. In this minefield, a misstep for either party could prove disastrous, and there have been three factors which are especially influential in this election.