The 2014 state assembly polls which propelled BJP to power had witnessed a record turnout of 76.54%. RSS pracharak-turned-politician Manohar Lal Khattar, who was a surprise choice for the chief minister’s post in 2014, is the BJP’s CM face for the elections this time. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the turnout was 70.36%.
In Haryana , such low turnout for assembly polls was witnessed in 1991 when 65.86% was recorded. The current turnout is lowest as compared to 71.96% in 2005, 72.37% in 2009 and 76.54% in 2014.
Prominent among politicians whose electoral fate would be decided on October 24 are Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar, senior Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda, senior INLD leader Abhay Singh Chautala and Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) leader Dushyant Chautala.
All eyes are also on Baroda, Dadri and Pehowa, from where the ruling BJP fielded three Olympians — Yogeshwar Dutt, Babita Phogat and Sandeep Singh. It is for the first time that the sportspersons of such high stature were fielded by any political party in Haryana.
The focus will also remain on Narnaund, Tohana, Badli and Mahendergarh where senior BJP leaders Captain Abhimanyu, Subhash Barala, Om Prakash Dhankar and Ram Bilas Sharma, respectively are struggling to retain their seats. The results of state’s hottest seat, Uchana Kalan where former Union minister Birender Singh’s wife Prem Lata Singh is in a tough contest against Dushyant, are also most awaited.
There was trouble in Uchana on Monday afternoon when Dushyant accused BJP supporters of booth capturing. He alleged that an attempt was made to attack him and he was pushed around by BJP supporters. The situation was immediately brought under control after Jind DC Aditya Dahiya and SP Ashwin Shenvi intervened. The JJP also filed a complaint in this regard.
Some minor incidents between supporters of different political parties were reported at Dabwali in Sirsa and Narnaund in Hisar but were resolved with intervention of local administration.
Two villages — Paintawas Khurd under Dadri assembly seat and Datoli under Badhra constituency of Charkhi-Dadri district — boycotted the polling because of water scarcity. Even district administration officials failed to convince them to cast their votes and villagers observed a complete boycott of the elections. Both the villages had also boycotted polling in the Lok Sabha elections held in May this year.
Heavy voter turnout was witnessed in many constituencies such as Fatehabad, Kalayat, Sadhaura (SC), Narnaund, Naraingarh, Tohana, Kaithal, Jagadhari, Barwala and Hathin.
According to Haryana chief electoral officer Anurag Aggarwal, the turnout in the state assembly polls has been provisionally recorded at around 65%. He said that the figure was tentative and is likely to increase slightly.