76 per cent turnout for Jind Assembly bypoll

JIND: Dubbed as a prestige battle for all four major contenders ahead of parliamentary and assembly polls, the Jind byelection in Haryana on Monday saw 75.77 per cent turnout.

rchopra@tribunemail.com

Jind, January 28

Dubbed as a prestige battle for all four major contenders ahead of parliamentary and assembly polls, the Jind byelection in Haryana on Monday saw 75.77 per cent turnout.

The ruling BJP, Congress, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), which was formed after a split in the INLD, have pulled out all the stops for a victory, which could prove to be a morale booster for the rank and file.

The by-poll was necessitated following the death of INLD MLA Hari Chan Middha, whose son Krishna Middha recently joined the BJP and is the saffron party's candidate for the byelection.

The Congress fielded chief national spokesperson and sitting MLA from Kaithal constituency Randeep Singh Surjewala.

The INLD is banking on Umed Redhu to retain the seat.

The JJP has put its weight behind Digvijay Chautala, the younger son of jailed leader Ajay Singh Chautala, who broke away from the INLD and floated the party.

Twenty-one candidates, including two women, are in the fray.

In the 2014 Haryana Assembly polls, Jind constituency had registered 75.91 poll percentage.

The polling remained peaceful, officials said. A couple of nonagenarians were amongst those to cast votes early in the morning.

Nearly 1.7 lakh people, including 80,556 women, were eligible to vote. As many as 71 polling booths in rural areas of this constituency and 103 polling booths in urban areas were set up.

Elaborate security arrangements were made to ensure smooth and peaceful conduct of polling. Nearly 3,000 policemen had been put on duty, a senior police official said earlier.

Archrivals BJP, Congress, INLD and JJP are eyeing the results as a self-assessment exercise ahead of Lok Sabha polls this year.

The high-stake election is considered a referendum on the Manohar Lal Khattar government and also a semi-final ahead of Lok Sabha elections.

Counting of votes will take place on January 31. — PTI

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