M A I N   N E W S

64 pc vote in Haryana
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 7
Haryana broke the trend of low polling witnessed during the first three phases of General Election this year in certain states when it reported about 64 per cent voter turnout for the 10 Lok Sabha seats today. The voter turnout in 2004 parliamentary elections was 65.67 per cent in the state. The polling by and large went off peacefully.

The voting started at a dull note but picked up towards the end of the day. At many places the voters were seen standing in queue to cast their vote even after the deadline of 5 pm. All those who had entered the polling booths before 5 pm were allowed to caste their votes. The polling had begun at 7 am.

Among those who cast their votes in the morning included Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, his mother Har Devi, wife Asha Hooda and MP son Deepinder Singh, all of whom cast their votes in Rohtak.

Former chief minister 78-year-old Bhajan Lal, who is contesting from Hisar constituency on the Haryana Janhit Congress party ticket, cast his vote in Adampur while INLD president Om Prakash Chautala exercised his franchise in Sirsa district.

According to tentative reports, Kurukshetra ranked at the top with 71 per cent polling followed by Sirsa, which recorded 67 per cent polling. Similarly, polling in Karnal was 65 per cent, Sonepat 63.17 per cent, Ambala 65 per cent, Faridabad 55 per cent, Gurgaon 60 per cent, Rohtak 62.1 per cent, Hisar 64 per cent and Bhiwani-Mahendergard recorded 65 per cent polling.

During the 2004 elections, 65.69 per cent voters had exercised their right to vote in Haryana. Kurukshetra had recorded the highest turn out of 72.23 per cent and the lowest that year was recorded at Faridabad where merely 54.62 per cent votes were polled.

The maximum number of 38 candidates are in fray from Hisar and the lowest number of contestants, seven are from Ambala (SC).

Key contestants whose fate was sealed today in the electronic voting machines included Union Ministers Selja and Rao Inderjit Singh, both Congress candidates from Ambala (SC) and Gurgaon, respectively, industrialist Navin Jindal (Congress) from Kurukshetra, Haryana INLD President Ashok Arora (Kurukshetra), former cricketer Chetan Sharma (BSP) from Faridabad, INLD Secretary General Ajay Singh Chautala and former chief minister late Bansi Lalís grand daughter Shruti Choudhary(Cong) from Bhiwani-Mahendragarh and Indian Youth Congress president Ashok Tanwar (Sirsa).

The Congress had won nine seats in 2004 and the BJP one. Haryana had witnessed the highest 73.26 per cent polling in 1977. Polling was lowest at 63.68 per cent in the General Election of 1999.



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