Haryana’s electorate set a new voting record on Wednesday with exit polls saying the BJP could emerge as the single-largest party, perking up its chances of ending a 10-year Congress reign in the state after contesting the assembly elections alone.
Nearly 76% of the 1.63-crore electorate exercised its franchise despite stray incidents of violence in the fiercely-contested polls. The voter turnout was 72.29% in the 2009 assembly polls and 70.5% in the Lok Sabha election this year.
Police fired shots in the air after people torched seven motorcycles near polling booths at Niana village in Hisar’s Barwala assembly constituency as workers from Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) clashed. At least 15 people including some policemen were injured in the incident.
Haryana Lokhit Party (HLP) chief and sitting Sirsa MLA Gopal Kanda reportedly slapped the brother of his INLD rival at Gaushal Mohalla, triggering a backlash by INLD workers who pelted Kanda’s vehicle with stones.
Voters, though, remained undeterred and polling was brisk throughout the day as people were seen queuing up patiently at both urban and rural centres. High turnouts were reported from places like Fatehabad, Hisar, Jind, Kurukshetra, Mewat, Rohtak, Sirsa and Yamunanagar.
Among the early voters were the country’s richest woman Savitri Jindal, INLD candidates Naina Chautala and Dushyant Chautala, HJC president Kuldeep Bishnoi, Union minister of state Krishan Pal Gurjar and former Union minister Venod Sharma.
Sirsa district with five assembly seats clocked the highest voter turnout at 82.7% while Faridabad district with six seats recorded the lowest at 61.7%.
Polling in Gurgaon was also disrupted briefly when some unidentified people opened fire in the Sohna constituency. However, no one was injured.
With agency inputs