Jaipur: Polling began on Friday in Rajasthan amid tight security to elect a new Assembly in the state. Voting began at 8 a.m., and will continue till 5 p.m.
The contest is mainly between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress.
In Rajasthan, the BJP is fighting anti-incumbency to retain power.
About 4.74 crore people will decide the fate of 2,274 candidates in the fray for the 200-member Assembly.
Out of 2,274 candidates -- 189 women are contesting for 199 out of the 200 assembly constituencies.
In the current House, the BJP has 160 seats and the Congress 25.
The BJP is contesting on all seats while the Congress has left five seats for its allies.
The Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has fielded 190, the Communist Party of India-Marxist 28 and the Communist Party of India 16 candidates. There are 830 Independent candidates.
Election in Alwar district's Ramgarh constituency has been postponed due to the death of BSP candidate Laxman Singh.
Polling began Friday morning for 199 Assembly seats out of the 200 in Rajasthan, a key state which the BJP is fighting to retain.
According to an official spokesperson, polling began at 8 am in all the 51,687 booths set up across the state.
Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje (Jhalrapatan), Congress state president Sachin Pilot (Tonk), former chief minister Ashok Gehlot (Sardarpura) are among the 2,274 candidates in the fray.
The election in Ramgarh constituency of Alwar district was put off following the death of Bahujan Samaj Party candidate Laxman Singh.
The results will be out on December 11, along with those from the other four states which saw Assembly elections in the past few weeks.
The outcome of the elections in Rajasthan, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram is expected to set the tone for the Lok Sabha contest next year.
Raje, who is the BJP's chief ministerial candidate, is fighting against veteran BJP leader Jaswant Singh's son Manvendra Singh in Jhalrapatan, the constituency she has represented since 2003.
Manvendra Singh switched to the Congress just before the election, making the fight tougher for Raje this time. She had won 63 per cent of the votes cast in 2013, winning the seat by a margin of 60,896.
Tonk, with a sizeable Muslim population, is a keenly-watched contest between Sachin Pilot and BJP candidate and Rajasthan Transport Minister Yoonus Khan, who is the saffron party's only Muslim face in the elections.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had initially fielded sitting MLA Ajit Singh Mehta in Tonk. But in a change of strategy, the party dropped him and sent Khan to take on Pilot.
This is a maiden assembly election for Pilot, a two-time MP who is seen as a chief ministerial possibility if the Congress wins. He has represented Dausa and Ajmer Lok Sabha constituencies in the past.
Former chief minister Ashok Gehlot, who is also seen as a chief ministerial candidate for the Congress, is contesting from Sardarpura, a constituency he now represents.
Gehlot has been the Rajasthan chief minister twice.
In about 130 constituencies, the contest appears to be mainly between the BJP and the Congress.
Discus gold medallist in the 2010 Commonwealth Games Krishna Poonia is the Congress candidate in Sadulpur.
Jat leader Hanuman Beniwal is a concern for both the parties. He founded the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party and has fielded 58 candidates.
The main BJP rebels include four ministers — Surendra Goyal (Jaitaran), Hem Singh Bhadana (Thanagaji), Dhan Singh Rawat (Banswara), Rajkumar Rinwa (Ratangarh).
BJP MLAs Navnit Lal Ninama (Dungarpur), Kishnaram Nai (Shri Dungargarh) and Anita Katara (Sagwara) have also defied the party. (PTI)
Modi Plea To Rajasthan Voters In Hindi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday appealed to the people of Rajasthan to participate in the Assembly polls, currently underway in the state.
"Today is the polling day in Rajasthan. I urge all voters in the state to take part in the biggest festival of democracy with full enthusiasm and vote in huge numbers," Modi tweeted in Hindi.
Here's a look at his tweet...
The Bharatiya Janata Party, which has been in power in Rajasthan since 2013, is fighting anti-incumbency to retain power.
Polling percentage has gone up in Rajasthan, where political leaders and members of royal families have come out to vote
After casting his vote for the Rajasthan Assembly elections in Jaipur, Congress leader Sachin Pilot has stated he is confident that his party will sweep the elections. When asked about who is the CM face, he replied: "We will sit and discuss this after our party gets a majority in the election."
Union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal stands in a queue to cast his vote. It's a very important time, every single vote counts: Rajyavardhan Rathore.
Voter turnout recorded till 11.00 am in Rajasthan is 21.89%. EVM is being replaced at polling booth no. 172 in Bikaner's Kisamidesar following a technical issue. #RajasthanElections2018. Voters create ruckus at polling booth no. 253 and 254 in Ahor constituency of Jalore as voting was halted after EVM malfunction Clashes in Kolayat, Bharatpur; vehicle set on fire .
Incidents of clashes between two groups were reported in Kolayat (Bikaner). Miscreants set a vehicle on fire. Poonam Kanwar from BJP and sitting Congress MLA Bhanwar Singh are in the fray. Rituraj Tiwari reports for ET. Clashes reported in Bharatpur as well.
Key fights in Rajasthan as state votes today
CM Vasundhara Raje is fighting against veteran BJP leader Jaswant Singh's son Manvendra Singh in Jhalrapatan, the constituency she has represented since 2003. Manvendra Singh switched to the Congress just before the election, making the fight tougher for Raje this time. Tonk, with a sizeable Muslim population, is a keenly-watched contest between Congress leader Sachin Pilot and BJP candidate and Rajasthan Transport Minister Yoonus Khan, who is the saffron party's only Muslim face in the elections.Former chief minister Ashok Gehlot, who is also seen as a chief ministerial candidate for the Congress, is contesting from Sardarpura.
Five factors that affect voting in Rajasthan, Rituraj Tiwari reports 1) Farmer unrest 2) Unemployment 3) Anti-incumbency 4) Water 5) Caste equation
41.37 per cent voter turnout in Rajasthan till 1pm .