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BJP sweeps Rajasthan in crucial state election
Sunday December 8, 2013 1:22 PM , IANS

The BJP appears to be heading for a thumping victory in Rajasthan, ending five years of the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress rule in India's desert state.

Sources in the BJP told IANS that the BJP has already started to make preparations for the oath-taking ceremony of Vasundhara Raje as the chief minister of the state.

"She is likely to take oath in the next two or three days at Janpath, in front of the state assembly in Jaipur," a source in the BJP said.

BJP candidates were declared elected in 14 of Rajasthan's 199 constituencies, and were leading in another 131 at 12.40 in the afternoon.

Election in one constituency, Churu, has been deferred till Dec 13 after BSP candidate Jagdish Meghwal died in November.

The ruling Congress won one seat, and was leading in only 31 other constituencies.

The BSP was leading on three seats, and the National People's Party on seven.

Gurjant Singh, the BJP candidate, was declared elected from Sadulsahar. He defeated Congress candidate Jagish Chander by a margin of over 4,800 votes.

Prominent BJP leaders who were leading include chief ministerial candidate Vasundhara Raje and Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria.

Vasundhara Raje, who is also the BJP state president, said: "I was confident that we will win. It is a vote against the Congress party's poor governance in the state and I thank Narendra Modi (BJP prime minister candidate) and Rajnath Singh (the party president) for touring the state extensively and holding rallies."

The Congress, which had won 102 seats in the last elections, was recording one of its worst defeats in the state.

The party's candidates who were leading included Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. Among the candidates who were trailing were senior Congress leader B.D. Kalla, Tourism Minister Bina Kak, Medical and Health Minister A.A. Khan, Urban Development Minister Shanti Kumar Dhariwal and Industries Minister Rajendra Pareek.

"We accept the people's mandate. My government in the state worked for the welfare of all. We launched various social welfare schemes too. There is no point in getting depressed. One party wins, another loses," Ashok Gehlot said.

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