The fierce battle between the clans of the three Lals got the voters of rural areas grossly involved in the polling in areas falling under the Hisar and Bhiwani-Mahendergarh Lok Sabha seats on Thursday.
While Kuldeep Bishnoi, son of former chief minister and HJC founder Bhajan Lal, is contesting against Dushyant Chautala, who is grandson of former CM and INLD chief Om Prakash Chautala and great-grandson of former deputy prime minister Devi Lal in Hisar; Shruti Choudhry, the grand-daughter of former CM Bansi Lal is facing a tough contest from Congress' rebel and BJP candidate Dharambir Singh for the Bhiwani-Mahendergarh seat.
The scenes outside the polling stations in areas falling under both the segments were almost akin with the men camping in groups outside there with a hookah right at the centre. The entire day appeared to be a 'panchayat' (read gathering) of a different sort with the voters exchanging their views and even cracking jokes on political parties.
The only reply of the women voters to the questions pertaining to politics, however, was just their smile. The young married women, who were unfailingly veiled, talked amongst themselves only.
At Mirchpur village in Hisar, which was in the news because of the communal riots there years ago, all the villagers seemed surcharged. When asked about any influence of the said riot on the polls, Satyavan and Anil said, "Sare aa liye aur kahan javange (all of them (Dalits) are back. Where can they go?)".
In other villages such as Barwala, Sarsaud and Bichpadi, polling had been more than 50% till around 2 pm though the number of the supporters at the pandals of different parties seemed to only swell.
In Bhiwani too, the voters appeared in an upbeat mood with openly siding with the parties of their choice.
The story at the Bibipur village (though in Jind district but part of Sonepat LS seat) which hogged the news after its panchayat pledged against the female foeticide years ago, was starkly different for the participation of female voters. While the village has over 3,200 votes, almost all its women voters had cast their votes by the forenoon itself. Also, fewer women folks were veiled here.
Stating that 70% votes had already been polled by noon, Kamal Singh and Rajesh Sharma of the village said that their own joint families had over 20 women who had polled their votes.
In some of the villages in Kaithal and Jind districts, which are part of Kurukshetra LS seat, a distinct impact of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was evident. The villagers who the HT team talked to held that people seemed to 'experimenting' this time. "Kateyi rog kategi jhadu bhai saab is baar," said Surinder Singh, at Sappakheri.