Anna factor looms large on the Congress as Hisar votes in by-elections today. It will be a test for both Team Anna and the ruling Congress as the civil society group social activists crossed the entire length and breadth of the constituency, opposing the Congress, during campaigning.
Amid tight security arrangements, polling commenced here this morning for the bypolls to the Hisar Lok Sabha seat, which is witnessing a triangular contest.
The Anna factor is looming large in the constituency raising the stakes for the ruling Congress.
Polling began at 8 am and will continue till 5 pm. Voters will today seal the fate of 40 candidates who are in the fray.
Congress has fielded three-time MP from Hisar, Jai Prakash. He is pitted against Haryana Janhit Congress’ Kuldeep Bishnoi, son of late Chief Minister Bhajan Lal, and main opposition INLD’s Ajay Singh Chautala, MLA from Dabwali and son of INLD President Om Prakash Chautala.
Out of the 40 candidates in the contest, mainly Independents, Hisar has a total voter strength of 13.32 lakh that includes 7.29 lakh males.
For the first time, videography is being done at all the polling stations in Hisar where EVMs were carried with escorts from dispatch centres. Later these machines will be carried from the booths to the strong rooms under security.
"Foolproof security arrangements have been made to ensure fair and free election, with 40 companies (4000 personnel) of Central forces deployed in addition to the police force spread across 1506 polling booths, out of which 339 have been declared as hyper sensitive and 387 others as sensitive," Haryana's Chief Electoral Officer, Sumita Misra said.
The high-pitched campaign that came to an end on Tuesday evening was dominated by wranglings between Congress and Team Anna, spearheading the anti-corruption campaign.
In 2009 Parliamentary polls, Congress had won nine out ten Lok Sabha seats in Haryana barring Hisar, which was won by HJC’s Bhajan Lal, whose death necessitated the bypolls.
The constituency has nearly 4.6 lakh Jat voters, 80,000 Brahmins, 36,000 Bishnois, 65,000 Punjabis while Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes constitute a sizeable over 5 lakh votes.
(with agency inputs)