Jaipur- The electoral fervour in Rajasthan has surged as the notification issuance marked the commencement of the nomination process for all 200 assembly seats on Monday. The last date for filing of nominations is November 6. Scrutiny of nominations will take place next day, while last date for withdrawal of nominations is November 9. The clamour and fervour of campaigning would conclude at 5 pm on November 23. The state is poised for polls scheduled on November 25, with the subsequent counting set to take place on December 3. These significant dates mark the crucial phases in determining the state's political future.
Both major political parties, Congress and BJP, are in the process of finalizing their candidate selections. While BJP has already announced candidates for 124 seats, Congress has disclosed candidates for 95 seats. RLPA (Rashtriya Loktantrik Party) has declared 10 candidates, and BSP has announced 45 candidates. The decision-making process for the seats have been challenging for Congress, as they have received an overwhelming 3,000 applications for the 200 seats, averaging 15 applications per constituency. Factors under consideration for candidate selection include surveys by the All India Congress Committee (AICC) and the Pradesh Election Committee (PEC) led by Govind Singh Dotasra, in addition to evaluations by a private agency. Ultimately, the primary criterion for selection appears to be the candidate's winnability.
Both the major political parties have activated their legal cells to ensure flawless nominations for their candidates, aiming to avoid any errors that could lead to the disqualification of nominations. Several candidates have scheduled their nomination filing dates: Sachin Pilot from Tonk on October 31, Satish Poonia from Amer on November 2, Rajendra Rathore from Taranagar on November 3, Vasundhara Raje from Jhalarapatan on November 4, and Rajyavardhan Rathore from Jhotwara.
The nomination filing period spans from October 30 to November 6, excluding November 5, which is a Sunday. Review of nomination papers is scheduled for November 7, and the last date for withdrawal of nominations is November 9. By this timeline, a clearer picture will emerge regarding direct or triangular contests in the elections. The Commission has allotted 193 election symbols for the candidates.
General and SC-ST candidates are required to pay a security deposit of Rs 10,000 and Rs 5,000, respectively. Each aspiring candidate is allowed to be accompanied by four individuals into the Returning Officer's chamber, and within a 100-meter radius of the Officer's office, they are constrained to three vehicles. Notably, the entire nomination process will be diligently captured through videography, signifying the critical beginning of the state's electoral journey.
Regarding candidates with a criminal record, parties are obligated to publish advertisements thrice between November 10 to 23, justifying why they granted a ticket to such individuals. Nominations can be cancelled if the candidate holds an office of profit or is ineligible by law, declared of unsound mind by the court, bankrupt, not a citizen of India, or failed to submit expenditure details for any election in the last three years to the Commission.
Each candidate can file up to four nomination papers for the same constituency and contest elections from a maximum of two constituencies out of 100.
To monitor candidate expenses, a team of 243 central observers will vigilantly oversee the election process and scrutinize the financial outlay of candidates. Five days ahead of the voting date, voters will receive slips embedded with QR codes for efficient identification at the polling stations.
Additionally, special provisions such as home voting will be made available for individuals above 80 years of age and specially-abled citizens.
During the enrolment phase, the nomination process will be meticulously recorded through videography. Moreover, a single candidate is permitted to file nominations from a maximum of two seats, ensuring a fair and balanced electoral participation.
Live webcasting facilities will cover over 50 percent of polling stations, ensuring transparency and accessibility. Through the KYC app, detailed information about any candidate can be easily obtained. Furthermore, voter assistance platforms like the Voter Help Line App, Saksham App, and Suvidha Portal will serve as guiding tools for voters throughout the electoral process.