After a dull start in the morning, polling picked up in Haryana with nearly 40 per cent of the electorates casting their votes in 10 Lok Sabha constituencies in the first six hours while brisk polling was recorded in Chandigarh with over 30 per cent voters exercising their franchise.
After polling began on a dull note in Haryana, it started picking up and over 40 per cent of the 1.6 crore voters had cast their vote during first six hours of polling which commenced at 7 this morning, officials said adding that polling was by and larger peaceful.
“Polling has started picking up and there are long queues at many places,” Haryana’s Chief Electoral Officer Shrikant Walgad said.
The 10 Lok Sabha seats are witnessing a four-cornered contest among candidates of Congress, BJP-HJC BL combine, main opposition Indian National Lok Dal and new entrant Aam Aadmi Party.
According to Chandigarh Deputy Commissioner-cum-Returning Officer, polling began in Chandigarh on a brisk note and nearly 30 per cent of the six lakh voters had cast their vote in over five hours.
In Haryana, among those who cast their vote early included HJC chief Kuldeep Bishnoi, who along with his wife Renuka and other family members exercised his franchise at Adampur in Hisar district.
AAP’s leader and Gurgaon candidate Yogendra Yadav cast his vote in Saharanwas village in Rewari district while greenhorn and INLD candidate from Hisar, Dushyant Chautala voted in Sirsa.
Congress’ Rohtak candidate Deepender Singh Hooda, son of Chief Minister Bhupinder Hooda, was likely to miss his date with the ballot as he is undergoing treatment at All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), New Delhi, for his back ailment, sources said.
However, the Chief Minister accompanied by his wife Asha and other family members cast votes in their native village Sanghi in Rohtak district.
The 17 candidates are in fray in from Chandigarh including Congress candidate and former Railway Minister Bansal, who is seeking re—election for the fifth time and is pitted against three women in the four—cornered contest.
However, two prominent women he is fighting against— BJP’s Kirron Kher and AAP’s Gul Panag — are not registered as voters here. The other woman candidate in the fray here is BSP’s Jannat Jahan—ul—Haq.
Mr. Bansal accompanied by his family members, cast his vote in the morning.
In Haryana, the key candidates amongst a total of 230 include industrialist Naveen Jindal, Deepender Hooda, Avtar Singh Bhadana, Shruti Chaudhry (Cong) and former Union Minister Rao Inderjit Singh (BJP).
Officials said polling had to be stopped for a brief period at two polling booths in Ambala Parliamentary constituency after EVM machines malfunctioned.
Meanwhile, Aam Aadmi Party’s Rohtak candidate Naveen Jaihind alleged he was threatened by two unidentified motorcycle—borne men.