Chandigarh: Battlelines were drawn today in Haryana as the deadline ended for withdrawal of nominations for the 10 Lok Sabha seats in the state where polling will be held on April 10.
Around 1.55 crore voters, including 71 lakh women, are eligible to cast their votes at 16,129 polling stations, including 11,644 in rural areas.
Of the 10 Lok Sabha seats, Congress had won nine and the Haryana Janhit Congress one - Hisar seat.
Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has termed the Lok Sabha polls a semi-final before the October elections to the state Assembly.
Among the main candidates left in the fray out of around 250 entering the contest are Congress` Deepinder Singh Hooda, Naveen Jindal, Haryana Congress chief Ashok Tanwar, Shruti Choudhry, Arvind Sharma and Avtar Singh Bhadana, all seeking re-election from their respective constituencies of Rohtak, Kurukshetra, Sirsa (SC), Bhiwani-Mahendergarh, Karnal and Faridabad.
From Sonipat, Congress has fielded its Gohana MLA Jagbir Singh Malik after party`s sitting MP Jitender Malik opted out.
From Hisar, Haryana Janhit Congress chief Kuldeep Bishnoi is seeking re-election from Ambala (SC), while from Gurgaon Rao Inderjit Singh, who quit Congress to join BJP, and Aam Aadmi Party`s Yogendra Yadav are among those in the race.
The Lok Sabha polls are being fought by main opposition Indian National Lok Dal independently after its efforts for a tie-up with BJP failed. Moreover, INLD chief and former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala and his MLA son Ajay Singh Chautala are behind the bars in connection with a 14-year-old teachers` recruitment scam.
INLD has, however, declared that it will back Narendra Modi in the prime ministerial race.
The ruling Congress finds itself battling 10 years of anti-incumbency while the BJP is fighting the polls in alliance with Kuldeep Bishnoi headed HJC.
This time Aam Aadmi Party is also likely to make an impact in the state`s politics. The party is fighting the polls on its own. BSP, Trinamool Congress and a few Independents are also in the fray.