The voter turnout in Haryana assembly polls touched 68.46 per cent, with Election Commission officials saying the figures may again change slightly when entire data is tabulated.
However, even at 68.46 per cent, there was a sharp drop from the 2014 assembly elections which brought the BJP to power in the state. Barring “minor incidents”, polling remained peaceful in Haryana. By late evening on Monday, the overall poll percentage was 65.75.
As the data was being tabulated, by morning the percentage increased to 68.46, Haryana’s Joint Chief Electoral Officer Inder Jeet said on Tuesday (October 22). “The overall poll percentage is now likely to be close to this figure, though it may change only slightly when entire data is tabulated,” he said.
The turnout was less than the 76.54 percentage in the 2014 assembly elections and the 70.36 per cent recorded over the states 10 parliamentary constituencies in the Lok Sabha elections this year. Currently, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has 48 members in the state assembly and the Congress has 17. The exit polls have predicted an even bigger mandate for the BJP in Haryana. Poll results will be declared on October 24.
Prominent figures in a field of 1,169 contestants include Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, senior Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Jannayak Janta Party leader Dushyant Chautala and Indian National Lok Dals Abhay Singh Chautala. Haryana ministers such as Ram Bilas Sharma, Anil Vij, Capt Abhimanyu, O P Dhankar and Kavita Jain are also in fray for the BJP.
Congress bigwigs in the contest include Randeep Singh Surjewala, Kiran Choudhary, Ranbir Mahendra and Kuldeep Bishnoi. The BJP also fielded TikTok star Sonali Phogat and three sportspersons — Babita Phogat, Yogeshwar Dutt and Sandeep Singh.
Meanwhile, highest voter turnout was witnessed in Ellenabad (83 pc), from where INLD leader Abhay Singh Chautala is seeking re-election. A high turnout was also recorded in Tohana (80.56), Naraingarh (74.70), Mulana (72.20), Sadhuara (77.79), Jagadhri (78.87), Ladwa (75.21), Shahbad (77.33), Kaithal (77.79), Tosham (70), Meham (76.45), Uchana Kalan (76.83), Dabwali (78.77), Adampur (75.70), Narnaund (77.75), Mahendragarh (74.40) and Garhi Sampla-Kiloi (74).
But Karnal, from where Chief Minister M L Khattar is seeking re-election, recorded a modest turnout of nearly 52.29. Panipat City’s turnout was the lowest at 45 per cent. Other constituencies that recorded a relatively lower polling percentage are Hisar (59.70), Gurgaon (52.36) and Faridabad (49.63), Ballabhgarh (52 pc), Rohtak (60.20), Ambala Cantt (62) and Panchkula (60).