Haryana Votes: High Stakes Lok Sabha & Karnal By-Election

Polling in Haryana commenced today for the 10 Lok Sabha constituencies and the Karnal Assembly by-election. Over two crore voters are to decide the fate of 223 candidates, including key figures like former chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar. Voting will conclude at 6 pm amid stringent security measures.

PTI | Chandigarh | Updated: 25-05-2024 07:20 IST | Created: 25-05-2024 07:20 IST
Haryana Votes: High Stakes Lok Sabha & Karnal By-Election
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Polling began on Saturday morning for the 10 Lok Sabha constituencies in Haryana and the by-election to the Karnal Assembly seat.

More than two crore voters are eligible to cast votes to decide the fate of 223 candidates, including former chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, two Union ministers and Congress stalwart Kumari Selja, in the fray for the 10 Lok Sabha seats.

Voting began at 7 am amid tight security arrangements and will continue till 6 pm, officials said.

Among the early voters was former chief minister Khattar, the BJP's candidate from the Karnal Lok Sabha seat, who exercised his franchise at a booth in Karnal's Prem Nagar.

For the Lok Sabha seats, there are 207 male and 16 female candidates.

In 2019, the ruling BJP had won all 10 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

Polling also began for the by-election to the Karnal Assembly seat, where Chief Minister Nayab Singh Saini is contesting.

For the Lok Sabha seats, Union ministers Rao Inderjit Singh and Krishan Pal Gurjar and Congress heavyweights Kumari Selja and Deepender Singh Hooda are among the contestants.

There are nine candidates in the fray for the Karnal Assembly seat. The bypoll was necessitated after Khattar's resignation as MLA.

There are 2,00,76,768 registered voters in the state, which include 94,23,956 women and 467 transgender voters, Haryana's Chief Electoral Officer Anurag Agarwal had said earlier.

Chief Minister Saini, who is the state BJP chief and outgoing MP from Kurukshetra, was sworn in as the chief minister on March 12, replacing Khattar. While the chief minister is fighting the Karnal assembly by-poll, Khattar is the BJP candidate from the Karnal parliamentary seat.

Among other candidates, Khattar is facing Haryana Youth Congress president Divyanshu Budhiraja, while Saini faces the Congress' Tarlochan Singh.

Haryana is witnessing a direct fight between the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress on most seats. However, seats like Hisar are witnessing a multi-cornered contest.

From Hisar, Power Minister Ranjit Singh Chautala, an Independent MLA who joined the BJP ahead of polls, is contesting against two members of the Chautala clan -- the JJP's Naina Chautala and the INLD's Sunaina Chautala. Besides, former Congress MP Jai Prakash is also in the fray from the seat.

The Congress' INDIA bloc partner Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is contesting from Kurukshetra, where it has fielded its state unit chief Sushil Gupta against the BJP's Naveen Jindal and the Indian National Lok Dal's Abhay Singh Chautala in a triangular battle.

Union ministers Inderjit Singh and Gurjar are seeking re-election from the Gurugram and Faridabad parliamentary seats, respectively. From Gurugram, the Congress has fielded its senior leader Raj Babbar.

The Congress' Selja and Deepender Hooda are contesting from Sirsa and Rohtak, respectively, where they face the BJP's Ashok Tanwar and Arvind Sharma.

The Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have also fielded their candidates. The JJP's 10, BSP's nine and the INLD's seven candidates are contesting the Lok Sabha polls.

Chief Electoral Officer Agarwal earlier said that 20,031 polling stations have been set up in the state, which include 19,812 permanent and 219 auxiliary polling stations.

Ninety-nine polling stations are being operated entirely by women staff. Apart from this, 96 polling stations are being manned by youth employees and 71 polling stations by PwD employees, he said.

As many as 5,470 polling stations have been set up in urban areas and 14,342 polling stations in rural areas, Agarwal said.

He said more than 96,000 officers and employees (except security forces) will be on duty at the polling stations. Besides this, flying squads and observers along with micro-observers will be present at different polling stations, the official said.

Foolproof security arrangements have been made for the smooth conduct of the election, Director General of Police, Shatrujeet Kapur said.

Votes will be counted on June 4.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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