Chandigarh: Barring stray incidents, polling remained peaceful in 10 Lok Sabha seats in Haryana which witnessed healthy voter turnout of over 73 per cent today and Union Territory Chandigarh created a record of highest ever poll percentage of nearly 72 per cent.
Polling began on a slow note in Haryana this morning but picked up pace as the day progressed and heavy voter turnout was witnessed at various places including Kurukshetra and Sirsa.
“Over 1.6 crore eligible voters were to cast votes in the state,” officials said, adding that polling was by and large peaceful.
Long queues were seen outside the booths at most of the places in Haryana, where polling was held in single phase and lone Lok Sabha seat of Chandigarh.
Haryana’s Chief Electoral Officer Shrikant Walgad told PTI over phone that over 73 per cent of the voters had cast their votes and the polling by and large ended on a peaceful note this evening.
In 2009, the voters’ turnout in the state was 68 per cent while 65.72 per cent in 2004.
Chandigarh’s Deputy Commissioner-cum-Returning Officer Mohd Shayin said the Union Territory had recorded highest ever poll percentage in history, as it was set to cross 72 per cent even as final figures were being tabulated.
He said the polling, which started at 7 AM, remained peaceful in Chandigarh and queues could be seen inside booths even after the deadline for polling ended at 6 pm.
The DC said the voting began on a brisk note and over six lakh voters, including 2.8 lakh women, were eligible to exercise their franchise. It is a four-cornered contest among candidates of Congress, BJP-HJC BL combine, main opposition Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and new entrant Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in 10 Lok Sabha seats in Haryana.
In Hisar, eight supporters of INLD and Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC-BL) were injured in clash in Azad Nagar area in Nalwa constituency of Hisar parliamentary seat over claims of “bogus voting” in a booth following which voting had to be suspended for a while in the affected booth.
HJC supremo and sitting MP Kuldeep Bishnoi, who is taking on INLD’s greenhorn Dushyant Chautala, also received minor injuries on his finger, sources said.
In Haryana, the key candidates among a total of 230 whose fate has been sealed in the EVMs include industrialist Naveen Jindal, Deepender Hooda, Avtar Singh Bhadana, Shruti Chaudhry (Congress), former Union Minister Rao Inderjit Singh (BJP) who is taking on Yogendra Yadav of AAP.
In a departure from the past trends of moderate voting in Chandigarh including 65.45 per cent in 2009 (highest), 51.14 per cent in 2004 and over 48.35 per cent in 1999, three occasions when Bansal had won, people queued up at the booths since morning which included 101-year-old father of BJP contestant Kirron Kher.