Chandigarh, April 10 :
Moving towards one of its highest electoral turnouts, Haryana Thursday saw nearly 73 percent of its over 1.6 crore voters exercising their franchise Thursday. Chandigarh was also all set to break its previous voting record with over 71 percent polling.
Haryana’s Chief Electoral Officer Shrikant Walgad said that Haryana has recorded 70.4 percent turnout of voters in 10 Lok Sabha seats.
“The voting percentage is likely to touch 73 pe cent. Poll process was peacefully completely, baring three minor incidents today,” Walgad said.
In Haryana, the highest voting percentage recorded earlier was 73.26 percent in 1977 – the first elections after the infamous Emergency. The state crossed the 70 percent voting mark in 1967 and 1996.
Minor clashes were reported in Hisar, Hatin and Jhajjar areas of Haryana. A few people were injured in these incidents.
The voting percentage in Chandigarh is likely to be its highest ever, returning officer and deputy commissioner Mohammed Shayin said here.
The previous high was 68.1 percent in 1984. In 2004 and 2009, the voting percentage was 50 and 64.9 percent respectively.
Voting continued at most polling stations beyond the 6 p.m. deadline for voting.
In Haryana, Sirsa recorded the highest polling at 76 percent while Faridabad seat, adjoining the national capital, saw only 60.8 percent polling.
Hisar (75.9), Kurukshetra (75.8), Ambala-reserved (70.7) and Gurgaon (70.2) recorded high turnouts.
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.
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 to 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.
Counting of votes will take place May 16 along with rest of India.