Municipal polls will be held amid tight security arrangements in Haryana on Thursday with over 21 lakh voters exercising their franchise to decide the fate of 4000 candidates.

EVMs are being used for the first time in the civic polls which will be held to one municipal corporation (Faridabad), 10 municipal councils and 28 municipal committees spread over 19 districts.

Polling would start at 7:30 am and would continue till 4 pm, an official spokesman said.

Out of 737 wards, 259 are reserved for women candidates, even as 1955 polling stations have been set up.

Tight security arrangements have also been put in place to ensure smooth conduct of the polls, officials said.

Counting of votes recorded and received from presiding officers of the polling stations of the wards would begin immediately after the polling and the results would be declared after the process is over, he said.

The spokesman said that the highest number of 169 candidates was contesting elections from Municipal Committee, Gohana and the lowest number of 43 candidates from Municipal Committee, Naraingarh.

As campaigning came to an end last evening, the ruling Congress and the main opposition INLD will now be hoping that candidates backed by them win.

The two parties, which had earlier announced that they would not contest these polls on their symbols, undertook hectic tours of the wards in the run up to the elections to campaign for the candidates they are supporting.

The BJP is fighting Thursday’s polls on its own symbol while BSP, too, is contesting at many places on its own symbol.

The Haryana government has notified a holiday in its offices and institutes falling within the limits of towns where the civic polls will be held.

It has also been notified that May 20 shall also be observed as holiday under section 25 of Negotiable Instrument Act, 1881 in the private establishments, factories, commercial establishments and shops located within the jurisdiction of the municipalities where polls are being held to enable employees of the private establishments to cast their votes.