Millions cast vote in 3 states; heavy polling recorded | india | Hindustan Times
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Millions cast vote in 3 states; heavy polling recorded

india Updated: Oct 13, 2009 21:31 IST

Agencies
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The assembly elections in three states Tuesday recorded heavy polling, varying from 60 percent in Maharashtra to 66 percent in Haryana and 72 percent in Arunachal Pradesh, Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla said.

"The polling percentage may go up," he told reporters here.

Chawla, who was flanked by Election Commissioners S.Y. Qureshi and V.S. Sampath, said there were two deaths in Haryana.

He said in Kaithal, there was a scuffle between two polling agents. "One of them had chest pain and was taken to hospital where he died," he added.

Chawla said in Rewari area, an elderly person who had come to vote died after complaining of chest pain.

In another incident, one person was injured in a group clash, Chawla said. "Two people have been arrested," he added.

He said a group pelted stones at Border Security Force (BSF) personnel in Palwal. "A BSF personnel's rifle was snatched but was recovered later," he added.

The 48-year-old polling agent, Jyoti Ram, was killed in a clash between supporters of Congress nominee Dillu Ram and Independent candidate Kulwant Bazigar in Gulha assembly constituency in Haryana's Kaithal district, police said. He represented Bazigar.

In Maharashtra's Gadchiroli district where 17 policemen were shot dead by the Maoists on October 8, naxalites opened fire at a patrol party near Kasansur in Aheri block shortly before polling commenced. No one was injured, police said, adding security forces did not retaliate.

In another incident, Naxals opened fire at a polling station at Bonde in Korchi taluka of the district. While no one was hurt, additional forces were despatched by an airforce chopper, Manoj Sharma, ASP, Gadchiroli, said.

Over 1.29 lakh state police and central forces were deployed across the state to ensure orderly polling in 288 Assembly seats, DGP (Elections) A N Roy said adding that the incidents did not hamper the polling process.

Union Ministers Sharad Pawar and Vilasrao Deshmukh, industrialist Anil Ambani, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray and cricketer Sachin Tendulkar were among the prominent voters.

The fate of 3,559 candidates, including Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, his deputy Chhagan Bhujbal and 37 ministers will
be decided by the electorate comprising 7,56,34,525 voters.

Sons and daughters of leaders like Vilasrao Deshmukh, Sushilkumar Shinde, Gopinath Munde and late Pramod Mahajan are making their electoral debut.

Meanwhile, an FIR was registered against three-time Congress MLA Janardhan Chandurkar for allegedly violating the
Model Code of Conduct by trying to influence voters by distributing money in suburban Bandra in Mumbai, police said.

Official reports from Nagpur said polling parties had failed to reach some booths in the interior areas of Naxal-hit
Gadchiroli district.

In Haryana, over 1.31 crore eligible voters, including 59 lakh women, will decide the fate of 1,222 candidates in fray
for 90 Assembly seats.

Prominent contestants include Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, his ministerial colleagues -- Birender Singh,
Kiran Choudhry and Randeep Singh Surjewala, former Chief Minister and INLD chief Om Prakash Chautala, INLD's secretary general Ajay Chautala, and Haryana Janhit Congress supremo Kuldeep Bishnoi.

In Arunachal Pradesh, polling was held for 57 of the 60 seats in the Assembly. Three Congress candidates, including
Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, have already been elected unopposed from the predominantly Buddhist district of
Tawang. Around 7.25 lakh voters are eligible to cast their votes in favour of 151 candidates.

Shoot-at-sight orders were issued against booth capturers or those attempting to damage EVMs in Papumpare district and in Itanagar.

Counting of votes in all the three states will take place on October 22. (With PTI, IANS input)