Haryana records 69 percent voting, one killed in poll violence

Haryana records 69 percent voting, one killed in poll violence

Women voters show their identity cards as they wait in a queue to cast their votes for the Haryana assembly elections, at a polling station in Ambala on Tuesday. PTI

Incidents of violence were reported from Hemu Majra village in Guhla (reserved) constituency in Kaithal district where Jyoti Ram, a polling agent of independent candidate Kulwant Bazigar, was killed in a group clash with Congress supporters in the morning.

Reports of firing and clashes between Congress and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) supporters came in from Nima Kheri and other villages in Mewat district. Four people were injured in the incidents. Police had to intervene to bring the situation under control.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Jagbir Singh Dhull was injured in Jind town when supporters of the Congress and the INLD clashed.

Minor incidents of clashes were reported at a few other places but the presence of over 65,000 security personnel ensured that the situation never got out of hand.

Voting started at 7 a.m. with rural voters showing more enthusiasm than their urban counterparts. Majority of the voters came only in the afternoon. At many polling booths, women voters outnumbered men.

The fate of 1,222 candidates, including 68 women, was sealed in the electronic voting machines (EVMs). Counting will take place Oct 22.

In places like Gurgaon, balloting got off to a slow start. With most offices in the suburban town closed, people were slow to come out of the high-rise buildings and bungalows to exercise their franchise. The final poll percentage in Gurgaon was a low 55 percent.

Over 81 percent votes were cast in Adampur constituency in Hisar district, from where Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) president Kuldeep Bishnoi, the younger son of former chief minister Bhajan Lal, contested.

A confident Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda headed to his native village Sanghi with his mother, wife and MP son Deepinder Singh Hooda to cast his vote, but not before going for his morning walk.

"The massive turnout is reiteration of people's faith in the policies of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and thinking of the youth icon, Rahul Gandhi. It is a ringing endorsement of our developmental, progressive, transparent and egalitarian governance. I take it as a massive vote for the Congress for which I profusely thank the people of Haryana," Hooda said.

The INLD filed a complaint before the Election Commission about booth capturing allegedly by Congress activists in Garhi Sampla-Kiloi constituency from where Hooda is contesting.

"The Congress party has sensed its defeat in the elections as it adopted cheap pressure tactics to intimidate the voters from casting their votes in Kiloi, Meham, Gohana, Kaithal, Firozpur Zhirka, Hathin and a number of other places in the state. These incidents are the signs of the Congress defeat and their frustration," INLD president and former chief minister Om Prakash Chautala said after the voting ended.

Vijender Singh, world No.1 boxer in the 75-kg category and Olympic gold medalist, cast his vote in his village, Kaluwas, on the outskirts of Bhiwani town.

Residents of Balri village in Indri constituency boycotted voting, saying their area was being ignored for development works.

Haryana has an electorate of over 13 million - 7.1 million men and 5.9 million women. The highest number of voters are in Gurgaon constituency - over 231,000. In a span of just five months, nearly 1.1 million new voters have been added to the voters' list in Haryana, officials have said.

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