LS polls: Voting in Haryana for 10 seats on Saturday, ex-CM Khattar in contention

Elections will be held on Saturday in Haryana’s 10 Lok Sabha constituencies and for the Karnal Assembly, which will decide the fate of 223 candidates, including big names like former chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Congress’s Kumari Selja.

A total of 223 candidates – 207 men and 16 women – are in the fray in the sixth phase of the Lok Sabha polls and over 2 crore people are eligible to vote in the state.

Prime Minister Nayab Singh Saini is contesting the Karnal by-election.

Voting is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The BJP had won all ten Lok Sabha seats in Haryana in the 2019 general elections.

For the Lok Sabha elections, Union ministers Rao Inderjit Singh and Krishan Pal Gurjar, former chief minister Manohar Lal and Congress heavyweights Kumari Selja and Deepender Singh Hooda are among the candidates.

Khattar, the BJP candidate from Karnal, is pitted against Haryana Youth Congress president Divyanshu Budhiraja.

Haryana is witnessing a direct fight between the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress in most seats. But seats like Hisar are witnessing a multi-faceted struggle.

From Hisar, Energy Minister Ranjit Singh Chautala, an independent MLA who joined the BJP before the elections, is pitted against two members of the Chautala clan – Naina Chautala of JJP and Sunaina Chautala of INLD. Congressman Jai Prakash is also in the fray.

The BJP has fielded industrialist and former MP Naveen Jindal from Kurukshetra. He is facing AAP state unit chief Sushil Gupta and Abhay Singh Chautala, a leader of the INLD.

Union ministers Inderjit Singh and Krishan Pal Gurjar are seeking re-election from Gurugram and Faridabad seats respectively. The Congress has fielded senior leader Raj Babbar from Gurugram.

Congress’ Kumari Selja and BJP’s Ashok Tanwar are contesting from Sirsa. In Rohtak, Deepender Singh Hooda will take on BJP’s Arvind Sharma.

The noisy campaign for the sixth phase, which ended on Thursday evening, saw BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari, and INDIA Block leaders Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Arvind Kejriwal made every effort to garner support for their parties’ candidates.

Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have also nominated their candidates in the Lok Sabha polls. The ten candidates of JJP, nine of BSP and seven candidates of INLD are contesting the elections.

A few sitting MLAs are also in the fray, including INLD’s Kurukshetra candidate Abhay Singh Chautala. Varun Chaudhary and Rao Dan Singh, the sitting Congress MLAs, are contesting from Ambala and Bhiwani-Mahendragarh seats respectively.

BJP MLA Mohan Lal Badoli is contesting against Sonipat and JJP’s Naina Chautala from Hisar.

Saini, who is also the state head of the BJP and the sitting MP from Kurukshetra, was sworn in as chief minister on March 12, replacing Khattar. He is contesting the Karnal Assembly poll.

There are nine candidates in the fray for the bypoll, which was necessitated due to Khattar’s resignation as MLA.

There are 2,00,76,768 registered voters in the state, including 94,23,956 women and 467 transgender voters, Haryana Chief Electoral Officer Anurag Agarwal said.

A total of 45,576 EVMs will be used for the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the state. Besides, 24,039 monitoring units and 26,040 VVPAT machines will be used, Chief Election Officer Anurag Agarwal said.

A total of 20,031 polling stations have been set up in Haryana, of which 19,812 are permanent and 219 are auxiliary polling stations. While 5,470 polling stations have been set up in urban areas, 14,342 have been set up in rural areas, he said.

As many as 99 polling stations will be managed entirely by female staff. In addition, 96 polling stations will be manned by youth workers and 71 by PwD (Persons with Disabilities) workers, he said.

Agarwal said polling agents in the state will leave for their respective polling stations on Friday.

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

More than 35,000 police personnel and 112 paramilitary companies will be deployed to ensure smooth conduct of the elections, he said.

In addition, more than 24,000 home guards will be strategically stationed across the region to maintain law and order, he said.

An official statement said that 300 checkpoints will be set up at the borders within and between states.

“The state will have 10,343 polling stations with over 20,000 polling booths. Of these, 1,362 locations with 3,033 polling booths have been identified as critical and 51 polling booths as vulnerable, necessitating additional police presence,” the report said.

According to the statement, 418 flying squadrons, 415 static surveillance teams, 34 rapid response teams and 1,039 patrolling parties will also be deployed.

(Only the headline and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)