Over 89 percent turnout in Haryana by-poll (Second Lead)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

ELLENABAD - A thick morning fog and cold wave conditions did not deter voters in Ellenabad assembly constituency from coming out and voting in large numbers. Over 89 percent of the 144,181 voters exercised their franchise in the bye-election Wednesday.

Haryana’s chief electoral officer Sumita Misra told IANS that nearly 89 percent voters turned up to cast their votes. She said no incident of violence was reported in the constituency.

“The polling passed off peacefully in the entire constituency. No violence was reported,” she said.

The voting in the Ellenabad constituency Wednesday was even higher than the over 87 percent polling in the adjoining Dabwali in the assembly election Oct 13. Ellenabad constituency had witnessed 86 percent voting, one of the highest in the state, in the October assembly poll.

Voting in the Ellenabad bye-election began on a slow note Wednesday as thick fog enveloped most of the constituency.

The main contest was between the opposition Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) candidate Abhey Singh Chautala and Congress candidate Bharat Singh Beniwal.

Of the total 15 candidates in the fray, 11 were Independents.

Abhey is the younger son of INLD president and former chief minister Om Prakash Chautala, making the by-poll significant in state politics.

The INLD president, who won this seat by 16,400 votes in the Oct 13 assembly election last year, vacated it in November as he was also elected from another assembly seat, Uchana Kalan.

Officials said 144,181 voters, including 77,340 men and 66,841 women, were eligible to cast their votes in the 142 polling stations set up in the constituency. All booths were declared “hyper-sensitive” by the Election Commission.

Other major parties like the Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) had not fielded candidates for this bye-election in view of the direct contest between the Congress and the INLD.

At least 27 companies of Haryana police and central forces, of which 10 companies were of paramilitary forces and five companies of India Reserve Battalion (IRB), were deployed to maintain law and order during the poll.

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