Voting trends in Barmer show a pitched battle between the BJP and its rebel candidate Jaswant Singh, as Baytoo and Sheo, strongholds of BJP candidate Sonaram and Singh respectively, touched a voting percentage as high as 77% mark.
People queue up to vote at a polling booth in Barmer on Thursday. (HT Photo)
Overall voting percentage in Barmer parliamentary constituency crossed 70% marks.
Singh’s supporters are happy that, Siwana, a Rajput-dominated area in Barmer, saw lowest turnout at 61%. “We are happy that Barmer city, Jaisalmer, Sheo, Chotan and Pachpadra have registered 70-75% polling. This shows that Muslims and OBCs have come out in hoards, along with Rajputs, to vote in support of Jaswant Singh. Lower turnout in Siwana is a positive for us, as BJP had pressurised Rajputs there not to support the veteran leader,” Jagat Singh, a supporter of Jaswant Singh, said.
In Ajmer, all the assembly seats crossed 60% polling mark. Congress state president Sachin Pilot is fighting against BJP’s Sanwar Lal Jat on this parliamentary seat.
Gujjar strongholds of Dudu, Nasirabad crossed 70% mark, while Masuda crossed 65% polling, which shows huge support for Pilot. On the other hand, Kishangarh, a Jat stronghold also crossed 65% mark. More than 65% people voted in Ajmer city. Polling trends indicates that if Pilot has not been able to secure support of Rawat voters in Pushkar, Nasirabad and Masuda areas, he may find it tough on May 16, the result day.
In Jaipur rural, Jhotwara, Phulera and Shahpura, considered BJP strongholds, average voting percentage was more than 57%. Former Union cabinet minister and Congress candidate CP Joshi is involved in a triangular fight with Olympian silver medallist Rajyavardhan Singh of BJP and NPP MLA Navin Pilania.
“Looking at the voting patterns we can assume that Jaipur rural and Ajmer may go to BJP’s way, but fate of Barmer still hangs in balance, as voters on both sides have voted with vengeance. One thing can be safely said about Barmer is that Congress candidate Harish Chaudhary will stand third,” Sangeeta Pranvendra, a political analyst, summed up the battle of the Barmer.
Honey bees disrupt polling
Polling was disrupted in the Bhilwara district for 45 minutes after a flock of fierce honeybees suddenly attacked the polling station number 79 at village Beskalai under Banera sub division in the Bhilwara parliamentary constituency on Thursday.
The bees just appeared from nowhere and swooped on people waiting to cast their votes at the booth in the morning.
Poll official Kailash Chandra and the voters ran for cover and the polling process could be resumed only after 10 am.
Booth level officer Kailash Chandra said: “The honey bees attacked the polling station all of a sudden, forcing the polling process to stop for some time. Voting was disrupted for around 20 to 30 minutes, but resumed after the flock left the place.”
Nine voters and one polling security guard Madan Lal were injured in the bee attack and were taken to a nearby health centre for primary medical aid. Later, the guard was replaced by a reserve polling official.