37 per cent polling in Haryana by 2 p.m.
Thirty seven per cent of over 1.83 crore voters in Haryana turned out by 2 p.m. on Monday to elect 90 members of the Assembly amidst minor skirmishes and snags in electronic voting machines (EVMs), officials said.
"The voter turnout was 37 per cent till 2 p.m.," an electoral official told IANS. The polling started at 7 a.m. and will continue till 6 p.m.
Chief Electoral Officer Anurag Agarwal said the polling remained peaceful.
"Minor technical snags were reported in EVMs at 15 places in the state and teams were rushed to rectify the faults," he told the media in his noon briefing in Chandigarh.
He said minor scuffles among supporters of different political parties were also reported from Dabwali in Sirsa and Nuh in Mewat, but the situation was under control.
The Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) has accused BJP supporters of capturing a polling booth in Uchana constituency. JJP's candidate Dushyant Chautala claimed that he was attacked and pushed aside.
The election result would be out on October 24, coinciding with the Maharashtra Assembly election results.
To cast his vote, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar first travelled by Janshatabdi Express from Chandigarh to his hometown Karnal, took an e-rickshaw to reach his home from where he rode bicycle to reach the polling booth that was located half a kilometre away from his residence
"We went to the public (for votes), they accepted us and we are going to form the government again and with a good majority," a confident Khattar told reporters in Karnal city, some 100 km from the state capital Chandigarh.
Asked about travelling in a train, he replied: "I am a commoner and have come to vote as the common man."
Two-time former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who cast his vote along with his wife Asha, son and former MP Deepender and daugther-in-law Sweta Mirdha, said the contest was only between the BJP and Congress and the latter would emerge victorious.
"The Jannayak Janata Party and Indian National Lok Dal are not factors, the contest is between Congress and the BJP only and the Congress will get the majority," Hooda told the media in his hometown.
Hooda, also the Leader of Opposition, is re-contesting from his bastion Garhi Sampla-Kiloi in Rohtak district, mocked at his arch rival Khattar for travelling by train to reach hometown Karnal.
"In the last five years he was travelling across the state in a helicopter. Now he has taken the train journey to project himself as a commoner Chief Minister," he added.
After casting vote in Kaithal town, Congress national spokesperson Surjewala told the media that a huge public support reflect people's overwhelming mood to give mandate in favour of the Congress in the state with a clear majority.
In Jat-dominated Sirsa, JJP leader Dushyant Chautala, reached a polling booth driving a tractor. He was accompanied by his mother Naina Chautala and his wife.
Wrestler-turned-politician and BJP candidate from Dadri, Babita Phogat, cast her vote at her native village in Bhiwani along with father Mahavir Phogat and sister Geeta Phogat.
A total of 1,169 candidates, including 105 women and a transgender, are in the fray.
While the BJP and the Congress are contesting on all 90 seats, the BSP is in the fray on 87 seats, and the INLD is contesting on 81 seats. There are some 375 candidates contesting as independents.
Hansi has the maximum of 25 candidates in the running, while Ambala Cantt and Shahbad have just six. Narnaul is the smallest constituency in terms of voters, with just 144,066 electorates, while Badshahpur is the largest, with 396,281 voters.
While one constituency has less than 1.5 lakh voters, some 47 constituencies have between 1.5 lakh to 2 lakh voters and 42 constituencies have more than 2 lakh voters.
The state has 19,578 polling stations, which will use 27,611 voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPATs) machines.IANS