Chandigarh (Haryana) [India], Oct 21 (ANI): Haryana will witness a multi-cornered electoral contest among BJP, Congress, Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) on Monday with 1,83,90,525 registered voters deciding the fate of a total of 1,169 candidates by casting their votes through Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
According to the Election Commission, there are 5,741 polling stations in urban areas and 13,837 in rural areas. A total of 29,400 ballot units, 24,899 control units, and 27,611 VVPAT machines will be used for the 90-member Haryana assembly.
Ninety candidates from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), 87 from the BSP, four from the CPI, seven from the CPI-M, 90 from the Congress, one from the NCP, 81 from the Indian National Lok Dal, 375 Independent and 434 other candidates are in the fray.
BJP is in power on its own in Haryana with a comfortable majority and is eyeing to win at least three-fourth seats in the state.
The party is facing a problem of rebels on some seats and is keen that there is no division of votes to achieve its goal of winning 75 seats in the 90-member assembly. There also have been some reports of sparring over candidate selection and the perceived influence of a party MP.
Haryana has a sizeable number of Dalit population with 14 reserved seats. During the campaign, BJP has focused much to woo voters in Jat belt and Ahriwal Belt of the state.
Party is making a serious attempt to fight in 16 seats in the Jat belt where it had less than encouraging performance during Lok Sabha polls. Overall, 36 assembly seats across four parliamentary constituencies are considered part of Jat belt.
BJP had performed strongly in the 11 seats of Ahirwal belt in 2014 assembly polls and won all the seats. The area was not seen as a BJP stronghold till 2014. These eleven seats, which are spread over three districts, are - Pataudi, Badshahpur, Gurugram, Sohna, Bawal, Kosli, Rewari, Mahendragarh, Barnaul, Nangal Choudhary and Ateli.
Haryana assembly polls will also decide the electoral future of many prominent leaders.
Some key candidates in Haryana include Manohar Lal Khattar who is contesting from Karnal. The current leader of the Opposition in Haryana, Bhupinder Singh Hooda will be contesting from his home constituency of Garhi Sampla-Kiloi in Rohtak district. Abhay Singh Chautala is contesting from Ellenabad constituency of Haryana's Sirsa district.
Dushyant Chautala, Abhay's nephew and founder of Jannayak Janta Party is contesting from the Uchana Kalan constituency. The BJP has fielded three high-profile sportspersons in Haryana Assembly elections. Olympic medalist Dutt, Commonwealth gold medallist Babita Phogat and former Indian Hockey captain Sandeep Singh are contesting from Baroda, Dadri, and Pehowa Assembly constituencies.
A famous Tik Tok star, Sonali Phogat, contesting from Admapur seat is also among women candidates fielded by the BJP in this election.
Among the 12 women candidates fielded by the party, five are sitting MLAs.
Joint Chief Electoral Officer Inder Jeet had said that a maximum of 25 candidates are contesting the election from Hansi assembly constituency and a minimum of six candidates each from Ambala Cantt and Shahabad assembly constituencies.
The assembly polls in both states are crucial for Congress and with the absence of big faces, the BJP is seen to have an edge over the grand old party.
While both Sonia and Priyanka remained absent from the campaigning, BJP campaigned aggressively with many big faces like Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah addressing back-to-back rallies in both the states.
In 2014, BJP won 47 out of a total of 90 seats in the Assembly elections, while the Congress was restricted to just 15 seats.
The polling for 90 Assembly seats of the state will start at 7 am and will continue till 6 pm. The counting of votes will be done on October 24.
More than 40,000 Haryana Police personnel, over 13,000 paramilitary personnel and more than 20,000 Home Guards and Special Police Officers have been deployed for conducting the elections. (ANI)