68.9% turnout in Hisar, Anna factor looms large

68.9% turnout in Hisar, Anna factor looms large Hisar (Haryana): The bypoll for the Hisar Lok Sabha seat on Thursday witnessed a voter turnout of 68.9 per cent with the Anna factor raising the stakes for the ruling Congress in a triangular fight.

The polling, necessitated due to the death of sitting MP Bhajan Lal of Haryana Janhit Congress, passed off peacefully in the nine assembly segments of the Lok Sabha constituency - Adampur, Uklana SC, Narnaund, Hansi, Barwala, Hisar, Nalwa, Uchana Kalan and Bawani Khera (SC), official sources said.

The by-poll will decide the electoral fortune of Jai Prakash (Congress), Bhajan Lal's son Kuldeep Bishnoi (HJC-BJP) and Ajay Chautala (INLD). There are in all 40 candidates, mostly independents, in the fray.

"The overall poll percentage of the nine assembly segments stood at 68.9 per cent as against 69.3 per cent in 2009 and 67.72 in 2004 for the Hisar LS seat," Haryana's Chief Electoral Officer Sumita Misra told agency. Hisar has an electorate of 13.32 lakh.

Polling began at 8 am and ended at 5 pm, though long queues were seen inside the polling booths when voting was about to end. For the first time, videography was done at all polling stations.

Misra said polling remained completely peaceful and no untoward incident was reported from anywhere.

As the day progressed, polling picked up and was brisk in Adampur, Bhajan Lal's family stronghold, which registered the highest turnout of 75 per cent.

Uchana Kalan, which is represented in the Haryana Assembly by INLD President and former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, witnessed the second highest turnout at 71.67 per cent. However, Hisar Assembly segment recorded the lowest turnout of 62.43 per cent.

Misra said barring a couple of technical glitches, the polling passed off smoothly. EVMs had to be replaced at two places in Narnaund constituency. In Agroha village in Adampur, people boycotted polling against non-resolution of a dispute over a piece of land.