Chandigarh: The heavy voter turnout in  Haryana’s assembly elections Wednesday has taken the state to a new high with a record 76.54 percent of the 1.63 crore electorate exercising their  franchise. The voting percentage is the highest in any assembly elections since Haryana became a state in 1966.

“This is the highest ever voting  record in the history of Haryana’s assembly polls since 1967,” Haryana Chief  Electoral Officer Shrikant Walgad told IANS.

The voter turnout has  already put the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is taking its first shot at  power in the state on its own, on victory course if the exit poll results are to  be believed. The exit polls have given the BJP between 34 to 54 seats in the  90-member assembly. The results will be known after the vote count  Sunday.

“The BJP will form the next government and the high voter turnout  is a clear indicator that people in Haryana want a change. They were fed up with  the scams, corruption and misrule of the last 10 years,” said BJP leader Abhimanyu, who is a frontrunner in the race to be the next chief minister if the  BJP comes to power.

The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), which has been  given between 20 and 26 seats in the exit polls, too is confident after the high  turnout.

Out of Haryana’s 21 districts, 16 districts recorded a voting  percentage of 75 percent or more. Of these, six districts recorded heavy voter  turnout of over 80 percent.

Sirsa district, which is the stronghold of  the opposition INLD, recorded the highest polling of 84.66 percent. It was  followed by Fatehabad district with a turnout of 83.17 and Kaithal with 82.46  percent voting.

The previous record for maximum polling at 72.65 percent  in 1967 was broken.

In the 2009 assembly polls, Haryana recorded nearly  72.29 percent voting. In the Lok Sabha polls earlier this year, Haryana saw a  turnout of 71.86 percent.

The assembly constituency of Ellenabad in Sirsa  district saw the highest voter turnout of 89 percent. It was followed by Rania  at 87.9 percent, Sadhaura at 84.9 and Jagadhri at 84.7 percent.

The high  profile assembly seat of Uchana Kalan in Jind district saw a record voting of  84.8 percent. Here INLD candidate Dushyant Chautala, who is the current Lok  Sabha member from Hisar constituency and great-grandson of late former deputy  prime minister Devi Lal, was pitted against Premlata Singh, wife of Jat leader  Birender Singh who quit the Congress recently to join the BJP.

The  National Capital Region (NCR) areas of Faridabad and Gurgaon were the ones which  could not match up to the high voting percentage elsewhere in the state. Faridabad district recorded the lowest turnout in the state at 62.1 percent  while Gurgaon was a shade better at 69.2 percent.

Badhkal (55.9 percent),  Ballabhgarh (58) and Faridabad (59.7) assembly constituencies recorded the  lowest turnouts in the state.

Even Panchkula assembly segment, adjoining  state capital Chandigarh, had a low turnout of 65.7 percent. Gurgaon assembly  constituency, adjoining the national capital, saw only 63.8 percent  voting.

“The state’s rural areas voted heavily. Details will be known  later,” one election official said.

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