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Over 56 per cent polling in Haryana till 5 pm

twitter-logoPTI | October 21, 2019 | Updated 18:11 IST

(Eds: updating poll percentage, other details ) Chandigarh, Oct 21 (PTI) Haryana recorded a turnout of over 56 per cent by 5 pm on Monday with an hour still left for polling to close for the 90 assembly elections in the state where the BJP hopes to retain power. Barring a stray incident in Nuh district polling that began at 7 am was violence-free. The constituencies that saw relatively higher polling included Julana (61 per cent), Naraingarh (63.34 ), Mulana-reserved (67.30), Sadhuara- reserved (69 ), Jagadhri (58.40), Radaur (68.20 pc), Ladwa (61), Kalayat (64.90), Kaithal (60.13), Tohana (71.20), Fatehabad (71.55), Rania (70), Tosham (70), Meham (70.75), Ellenabad (61), Gohana (62) and Garhi Sampla-Kiloi (62), according to Election Commission figures. Karnal, from where Chief Minister M L Khattar is seeking re-election, recorded a moderate turnout of 43 per cent by 5 pm. Comparatively fewer voters turned out in Panipat City (45 per cent), Sonipat (45), Uchana Kalan (56.30), Rohtak (54), Rewari (49.69), Nilokheri reserved seat (43.10), Pataudi reserved (36), Gurgaon (37), Nuh (43), Faridabad (42), Ballabhgarh (47) and Hisar (42.) As many as 1,169 candidates, including 105 women, are contesting the election. A clash was reported from Nuh district in Mewat region. A woman was injured in the clash which took place between two groups outside a polling booth in Malaaka village, a senior police official said. Nuh SP Sangeeta Kalia said some argument broke out between the present sarpanch and a former sarpanch after which some of their supporters accompanying them clashed and pelted each other with stones. "However, the polling process was not hampered and the situation is peaceful now," the SP said. JJP leader Dushyant Chautala alleged that "bogus voting" took place at a booth in Dumerkha Kalan village, allegedly in connivance with a police official. He said when he objected to it, an attempt was made to hurl a glass at him. "I have given a complaint to the Returning Officer concerned," he said. At many places, great enthusiasm was witnessed among women voters. In an attempt to encourage women voters' participation in the polls, the Election Commision had set up pink polling booths, also called Sakhi booths with an all-women staff at many places. Earlier in the morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to come out in large numbers to cast their vote and "enrich the festival of democracy". Chief Minister Khattar and former CM Hooda too had urged voters to come out in great numbers to vote. The prominent figures in the fray are Chief Minister Khattar, former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, JJP's Dushyant Chautala and INLD's Abhay Singh Chautala. Haryana's lone woman minister Kavita Jain, along with her husband and BJP leader Rajiv Jain and their two children, both first-time voters, were among the first to cast vote in Sonipat. Khattar travelled by a Jan Shatabdi train from Chandigarh to cast his vote in Karnal from where he is seeking re-election. Upon reaching Karnal, he rode a bicycle to reach the polling booth and urged people to try and make use of cycle to commute at least short distances as it will help protect environment. Dushyant Chautala rode a tractor to reach the polling booth in Sirsa along with his wife Meghna and mother Naina Chautala. Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda cast his vote along with his family members in his constituency of Garhi Sampla-Kiloi in Rohtak. Before exercising his vote, the two-time former chief minister and his family members offered prayers at a temple. He was accompanied by his wife Asha Hooda, son and former MP from here Deepender Singh Hooda and daugther-in-law Sweta Mirdha. While Khattar claimed that BJP will easily achieve its target of winning over 75 seats, Hooda claimed that Congress will make a comeback in the state. Currently, the BJP has 48 members in the state assembly. As many as 19,578 polling stations have been set up besides the deployment of over 75,000 security personnel. Over 1.83 crore voters are eligible to vote that includes 85 lakh women, over one lakh service voters and 252 transgenders. In the polls, Dushyant Chautala-led Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), a breakaway faction of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), is hoping for an improvement in its prospects following the debacle in the Lok Sabha election, in which Bharatiya Janata Party won all the 10 seats in the state. The JJP had emerged on the scene following a feud in the Chautala clan in December last year. The prestige of families of Haryana's famous 'Lals' -- Devi Lal, Bansi Lal and Bhajan Lal, who were former chief ministers--is also at stake. The Late Bansi Lal's daughter-in-law Kiran Choudhary (Tosham) and son Ranbir Mahendra (Badhra) are contesting as Congress candidates. Devi Lal's great grandson and JJP leader Dushyant Chautala (Uchana Kalan) and granddaughter-in-law Naina Chautala (Badhra) are fighting as JJP candidates. Devi Lal's grandson and former chief minister O P Chautala's son Abhay Singh Chautala is fighting as an INLD candidate from Ellenabad. The late Bhajan Lal's sons Kuldeep Bishnoi (Adampur) and Chander Mohan (Panchkula) are in the fray as Congress nominees. PTI SUN CHS VSD RDK RDK

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