For the last 15 years, Rajasthan has voted the same party i.e. BJP in every assembly election and Lok Sabha election. In other words, since 2003 elections in the state, Rajasthan voters have been choosing BJP government, except in 2008 when Congress came to power with senior leader Ashok Gehlot swearing-in as the CM.
Consider the numbers here:
In 2003: Rajasthan voters choose the BJP at the assembly level;
In 2004: Rajasthan voters gave 21 out of 25 Lok Sabha seats to the BJP (even when Vajpayee lost)
In 2008: Voters picked the Congress at the assembly level;
In 2009: Voters gave 20 out of 25 Lok Sabha seats to the Congress
In 2013: Rajasthan picked the BJP in the assembly election with BJP leader Vasundhara Raje swearing-in as the Chief Minister of the state
In 2014: Voters gave all 25 Lok Sabha seats to the BJP
Now, given the consistency of the mood of Rajasthan voters, can BJP afford to lose these assembly elections in Rajasthan, given the fact that it holds 25 crucial seats for the upcoming Lok Sabha in 2019?
Ahead of the election day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah went on a spree of roadshows and rallies, with PM Modi alone holding 13 rallies in Rajasthan in the last 2 weeks of campaigning.
Given the fact that so far the BJP’s campaigns in Goa and in Gujarat (two states where the BJP was ruling and was voted back into a majority) have ensured that the Modi wave has neutralized any state-level anti-incumbency against the BJP at a local level, will Vasundhara Raje be the first case wherein the Modi wave has not been able to outdo the anger against the state-level leadership?
In February 2018, the BJP lost 2 Lok Sabha by-polls in Alwar and Ajmer and one assembly seat in the Brahmin-dominated Mandalgarh showing a big red flag in the vote share slide from the previous elections for the BJP. Today’s result will only corroborate whether or not that February 2018 by-poll result was an aberration of the Rajasthan electorate’s mood.
Considering the fact that the BJP has gotten 10% of the Forward Castes, 9% of the Gujjars, 8% of the Rajput and 15% of the Jat supporter base in 2013 and 2014, should there be any drastic movement towards the Congress-- is it undeniable that the BJP would be unsettled losing a significant caste base in the Hindi speaking belt on the heels of 2019?
All eyes are on Rajasthan on counting day with the Congress clearly expecting to displace the BJP to score its first direct electoral victory since Punjab. The state went to polls for 199 of 200 seats on December 7 and exit polls, bar one, are unanimous that the Rahul Gandhi-led party will be able to reverse the humbling it received in 2013 when the BJP and Vasundhara Raje won with an overwhelming majority. The state has had a recent trend of voting out the incumbent. However, one exit poll at least has the BJP and Congress neck-and-neck.
Other talking points involve the Congress's Chief Ministerial face, which hasn't yet been announced, though there has been plenty of talk of internal friction between the camps of former CM Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot.
Here are the numbers predicted by the exit polls: