Rajasthan that witnessed an intense battle where electorates came out in record number to vote would be remembered as one of the fiercest of all the polls since 1952.
The campaign in the state witnessed only the highs and no lows. This poll would be remembered because it was the chief minister Ashok Gehlot, who locked horns with the prime minister and his team. It was PM Modi vs Ashok Gehlot and it was for the first time that a CM took the burden of locking horns with Modi. In the past one could see such wordly duel during the campaign in southern states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala where the chief ministers as the leaders of the AIDMK or DMK and the left parties would campaign actively against the Congress.
BJP flashes Hindutva card
The BJP used all the arms in its arsenals to win the election and the saffron party used the religious and Hindutva card with even Prime Minister Modi urging the people to vote in the name of Hindutva.
Congress went to the poll and told what it did for the people. Apart from various welfare schemes, the seven guarantees that the party gave boosted the party's poll prospects. The party did issue its manifesto which was called the Sankalp Patra 2, but the party gave priorities to the seven guarantees that worked wonders and came as a surprise to the BJP.
The Pradesh Congress also issued advertisements that if the BJP came to power it would scrap the Chiranjeevi Beema Yojana and thus people would face hardship in getting health care.
The 5.2 lakh voters in the state witnessed the transformation in campaign with the Congress going a few steps ahead than the manifestos. While the manifesto is a promise the guarantees were accepted as a pledge and people believed in letter and spirit. The BJP had no answer to that.
The BJP's manifesto lacked depth and in fact the BJP's think tank were short of ideas while writing their manifesto as the Congress had already given to the people during their five years in reign.The BJP had no answer for it and their leaders concentrated to corner the government on the corruption charges and the atrocities on women.
The Prime Minister would only say in his election speeches about the corruption charges . While the Congress gave guarantees on social measures, Modi gave guarantees that the BJP, if it comes to power, would end corruption and would stop atrocities on women.
The BJP did not field a single Muslim candidate and it denied ticket to Yunus Khan, twice transport minister in the Cabinet of Vasundhara Raje.
Amin Pathan, the former chief of the minority cell and the head of the managing committee of the Ajmer's holy shrine quit BJP to join Congress when he saw that the party has no programme for the minority.
The state has 62 lakh Muslims who influence 40 seats. But the BJP fielded saints in three seats to arouse the feelings of the non-minority people.
The denial of tickets to Muslims was enough to prove the religious inclination of the party. It was evident in numerous election speeches of the Prime Minister where he almost begged the masses to vote in the name of Gods and Goddesses. He would visit numerous temples during his 13 visits to the state during the electioneering and before that.
“What is creditable is despite the hate speeches uttered by the BJP leaders the people showed their patience and there was not a single communal violence reported.This also shows the bandobast done by the Gehlot government.” Said Swarnim Chaturvedi, Pradesh Congress general secretary.
Amit Shah went a few steps ahead of Modi by assuring the youth that they would be taken to Ayodhyay and would be taken to the temple.
The BJP used a third party for electioneering and the Youtubers, who were hired by the party, were asked to be critical of the Gehlot government.
While the Congress conducted its campaign on the strength of its cadre within the state, the BJP's was in the hands of the central leaders. The BJP leaders controlled all the state campaigns leaving nothing to the local leadership.
Moreover, the BJP outdid the Congress in high spending m in each constituency, it proved that the elections are meant for the rich only and the poor have no space.