Haryana turnout 68%, violence leaves one dead

Amid stray violence that left a polling agent dead and some 20 people injured, an estimated 68 per cent voters exercised their franchise for the Haryana Assembly election under tight security on Tuesday.

Chandigarh: Amid stray violence that left a
polling agent dead and some 20 people injured, an estimated 68
per cent voters exercised their franchise for the Haryana
Assembly election under tight security on Tuesday.

A polling agent was killed in a clash in Gulha assembly
constituency as skirmishes between rival political groups left
around 20 injured elsewhere in the state, police said.

An estimated 68 per cent of 1.31 electorate cast votes
for the 90-seat House sealing the fate of 1,222 candidates,
including 67 women, in Electronic Voting Machines.

The poll percentage might rise as voter turnout from some
places was still awaited, a state Election Office spokesman
said.

The counting will take place on October 22 when the fate
of several political heavyweights including Chief Minister
Bhupinder Singh Hooda, INLD supremo Om Parkash Chautala, INLD
Secretary General Ajay Chautala and Haryana Janhit Congress
chief Kuldeep Bishnoi will be known.

48-year-old Jyoti Ram, the polling agent, was killed when
a clash erupted between supporters of Congress nominee Dillu
Ram and Independent candidate Kulwant Bazigar in Guna segment
in Kaithal district.

Ram was Bazigar`s poll agent, police said adding two
persons were injured in a firing incident at Ferozepur Jhirka
in Mewat district.

In Jalalpur village in Panipat district, a clash between
activists of Haryana Janhit Congress (BL) and the Congress
left 11 injured, one of them seriously.

DSP Jagbir Singh Dhull was hit by a stone near Hindu
Kanya Mahavidalaya in Jind district while one person was hurt
in a clash in Ambala city between supporters of an Independent
candidate and a SAD nominee.

Skirmishes also took place at Sirsa, Ambala, Kaithal,
Yamuna Nagar, Karnal and other places leaving some injured.
Alleging booth-capturing by the Congress at some places,
the Opposition INLD in a complaint to the EC said one of their
activists was abducted from Garhi Sampla-Kiloi constituency in
Rohtak district from where Hooda is seeking re-election.

Among the early voters was the Chief Minister who cast
his vote in his native Sanghi village in Rohtak district.

105-year-old Durga Devi also exercised her franchise in
Sanghi.

The Shiromani Akali Dal, led by Punjab`s Deputy Chief
Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, put up candidates in two seats
in the state which witnessed multi-cornered contests in all
constituencies.

Stakes were high for the Congress in the election after
its spectacular performance in the recent Lok Sabha polls when
it romped home in nine out of 10 seats in the state.

Rania constituency in Sirsa district saw 80 per voting,
the highest in the state, while Ballabgarh in Faridabad
district registered the lowest turnout of 50 per cent.

In 2005 assembly election, the turnout was 71.96 per
cent.

Bureau Report

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