Rajasthan on Monday recorded about 62 percent voter turnout from among its 2.57 crore electorates in the ongoing polling for 13 Lok Sabha seats in the state, said officials. Polling was peaceful in the state, with tribal dominated seat of Banswara recording the highest voting percentage at 72.34.
The second highest voter turnout after Banswara was reported from tribal population-dominated seat Barmer, where 72.21 per cent electors cast their votes. Barmer is the state's largest parliamentary constituency area-wise.
In Barmer, where former External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh's son Manvendra Singh, a former BJP MLA, is contesting election as a Congress candidate against BJP's Kailash Chaudhary, voters lined up before polling booths, braving scorching sun with the temperature hovering at around 42 degree Celsius.
The constituency covers entire Barmer and half of Jaisalmer district and is located on Indo-Pak border in western Rajasthan. Villagers flocked to polling booths in groups and looked for shed near polling booths.
Women also came out in large number for voting. Some villagers were seen carrying umbrellas to protect themselves from sun.
On his way to a polling booth here, Udaram Jat, 70, said, “It's very hot today but voting is important. I am going to the polling booth with umbrella because protection from the heat is equally necessary.”
Even election campaigning is considered difficult in this constituency, a part of the Thar desert, where candidates have to travel hundreds of km everyday to reach out to voters living in faraway villages and hamlets.
The constituency, which had recorded 72.56 voter turnout in 2014 general elections, has 19.32 lakh voters.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's son Vaibhav Gehlot is pitted against Union Minister of State and sitting MP Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.
The election of Jodhpur seat has become a prestige issue for Gehlot who has spearheaded a massive poll campaign here for his son, who is contesting his maiden election.
13 constituencies of the state which voted are Tonk-Sawaimadhopur, Ajmer, Pali, Jodhpur, Barmer, Jalore, Udaipur, Banswara, Chittorgarh, Rajsamand, Bhilwara, Kota and Jhalawar-Baran in Rajasthan.