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2 Union ministers, ex-CM among 223 candidates in fray in Haryana

twitter-logoPTI | May 11, 2019 | Updated 18:03 IST

Chandigarh, May 11 (PTI) Union ministers Rao Inderjit Singh and Krishan Pal Gurjar are among the 223 candidates whose fate will be sealed by voters in the sixth phase of polls for 10 Lok Sabha seats in Haryana on Sunday. Polling will be held from 7 am to 6 pm in the 10 parliamentary constituencies, Haryana's Joint Chief Electoral Officer Inder Jeet said. Over 1.80 crore people are eligible to vote in the state. Of them, 97,16,516 are male, 83,40,173 female and 207 transgenders. Altogether, 223 candidates, just 11 of them women, are in the contest. Prominent amongst the candidates whose fate will be sealed on Sunday include Union ministers of State Rao Inderjit Singh (Gurgaon) and Krishan Pal Gurjar (Faridabad), both of whom are seeking re-election. Former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, a sitting MLA of the Congress from Rohtak district, is once again trying his luck to enter the lower House, this time from Sonipat. Earlier, Hooda had remained a four-time MP from the Rohak parliamentary constituency. His son Deepender is seeking re-election for fourth term from Rohtak as Congress nominee. Among other candidates, Union minister Birender Singh's son Brijendra Singh (BJP) and former chief minister Bhajan Lal's grandson Bhavya Bishnoi (Congress), both political greenhorns, are contesting from the Hisar Lok Sabha seat, where they face sitting MP and leader of newly floated JJP Dushyant Chautala, grandson of former chief minister O P Chautala. Former Union minister Kumari Selja and state Congress chief Ashok Tanwar are fighting from Ambala and Sirsa, respectively, for the party. Shruti Choudhary, former MP and grand daughter of former chief minister Bansi Lal is contesting from the Bhiwani Mahendergarh seat. Aam Aadmi Party state president Naveen Jaihind is contesting the polls from Faridabad. The high-voltage electioneering for the May 12 polls saw the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress field a galaxy of stars. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah campaigned in the state even on the last day of electioneering. Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and Nitin Gadkari also campaigned in the state where voting will take place over all seats in a single phase. For the Congress, party president Rahul Gandhi, general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Raj Babbar and Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu pitched in. The Congress targeted the BJP government at the Centre over "failed" promises and the Rafale aircraft deal, in which it alleged corruption. On the other hand, Modi and other BJP leaders talked about the alleged land scams when the Congress was in power and they also raised the issue of national security, and more recently brought up the 1984-anti-Sikh riots issue. The violent quota agitation in 2016 also figured, triggering a fresh war of words between the state BJP and the Congress leaders. Among the major parties in the contest are the BJP, Congress and the Indian National Lok Dal, all of whom are fighting the 10 seats independently. The Jannayak Janata Party, formed after split in the INLD six months ago, is contesting on seven seats while remaining three seats are being fought by its ally the AAP. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is fighting on eight, leaving two for its ally Loktantra Suraksha Party floated by rebel BJP MP Raj Kumar Saini. In the 2014 parliamentary polls, the BJP contested eight seats and won seven. Its then ally Haryana Janhit Congress had fought on two seats, losing both. The INLD won two seats and the Congress could retain only the Rohtak seat last time. The BJP has retained five of its seven sitting MPs. The party replaced its Karnal MP Ashwini Chopra with Sanjay Bhatia. In Kurukshetra, the ruling party nominated Haryana minister Nayab Singh Saini after the BJP's sitting MP from there Raj Kumar Saini turned rebel and floated his own outfit LSP. From Kurukshetra, INLD senior leader Abhay Singh Chautala's son Arjun Chautala is fighting his first election.     Meanwhile, as many as three lakh electors are in the age group of 18-19 years, 38.96 lakh fall in the age group of 20-29 years, a maximum of 44.38 lakh voters are aged between 30 and 39 years while among other voters include 4.27 lakh aged above 80 years of age, officials said. As many as 20,428 voters' birthday falls on May 12.    The officials said that necessary arrangements, including those pertaining to security have been put in place to ensure smooth conduct of polling. They said 19,433 polling stations have been set up in the state which include 5,502 in urban areas and 13,931 in rural areas. Webcasting will be done in 1,020 polling stations. Haryana Director General of Police Manoj Yadava said 67,000 security personnel have been mobilised for the election duty to ensure smooth conduct of the polls. PTI SUN VSD SNE SNE SNE

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