Over 70 percent polling in Haryana, Chandigarh
Over 70 percent of voters in Haryana (10 seats) and Chandigarh (one seat) exercised their franchise Thursday.
The voting percentage in Chandigarh is likely to be its highest ever. The previous high was 68.1 percent in 1984. In 2004 and 2009, the voting percentage was 50 and 64.9 percent respectively.
Minor clashes were reported in Rohtak and Hisar districts of Haryana. A few people were injured in these incidents.
The voting percentage is expected to go up as voters were still queued up beyond the 6 p.m. deadline for voting. Election officials said that all voters who arrived till 6 p.m. will be allowed to vote.
In Haryana, the highest voting percentage recorded earlier was 73.26 percent in 1977. The state crossed the 70 percent voting mark in 1967 and 1996. There were nearly 1.60 crore eligible voters in Haryana's 10 Lok Sabha seats.
Kurukshetra (75 percent) and Sirsa (74 percent) led in polling.
Nearly 1.60 crore people, including over 73.8 lakh women, were eligible to vote in Haryana to decide the fate of 230 candidates, including 10 women candidates.
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and his family members cast their vote in Rohtak's Sanghi village while billionaire-industrialist MP Naveen Jindal cast his vote in Kurukshetra town.
In Chandigarh's lone Lok Sabha seat, there were over 6.13 lakh eligible voters cast their ballot. Enthusiastic voters began queuing up in the first hour after the commencement of polling at 7 a.m. A total of 17 candidates were in the fray.
The big fight in Chandigarh is between former railway minister and Congress leader Pawan Kumar Bansal, who is the sitting MP from the city beautiful, and three women challengers - Kirron Kher of the BJP, Gulkirat Kaur Panag (Gul Panag) of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and Jannat Jahan-ul-Haq of the Bahujan Samaj Party.
Kirron Kher and Gul Panag are celebrity candidates from Mumbai's film industry. Both have lived in Chandigarh earlier.
Chandigarh has over 2.81 lakh women voters while there are over 1.71 lakh young voters in the 20-29 age group. Nearly 70 percent of the young voters in Chandigarh cast their vote.
While Bansal cast his vote in Sector 28, actress Kirron Kher, who has her vote in Mumbai, accompanied her 101-year-old father and other family members to a polling station in Sector 8.
(Posted on 10-04-2014)