Haryana by-polls: Over 75 per cent turnout

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Chandigarh, May 22: Over 75 per cent turnout was reported in the three assembly constituencies in Haryana, including the prestigious Adampur seat of former chief minister Bhajan Lal, where by-elections were held today. The polling was by and large peaceful barring skirmishes among workers of various political parties at different places. There were complaints of booth capturing in a booth in Adampur where repoll was ordered by the Election Commission, official sources told the sources.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission removed Karnal Deputy Commissioner B S Malik for violation of Election Code of Conduct in Indri assembly constituency where bypoll was being held today. "The Deputy Commissioner is being removed with immediate effect," Election Commission Observer in Karnal, P K Mahapatra, said.

About 80 per cent voters exercised their franchise in the Adampur assembly segment in Hisar district where Mr Bhajan Lal is trying his luck once again after being disqualified as an MLA under the anti-defection law for floating a party while remaining a member of the Congress.

Mr Bhajan Lal, who launched a new political outfit Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC), is pitted against former finance minister and INLD leader Sampat Singh, former deputy prime minister Devi Lal's son and Congress candidate Ranjit Singh and Haryana BJP vice-president Swami Raghavanad.

In Adampur, the 1,37,480 strong electorate, including 63,175 woman voters, has a wide range of 41 candidates to choose from. As many as 43 of the 130 polling centres have been declared hyper-sensitive and 35 sensitive.

In Indri constituency in Karnal district, over 75 per cent people had cast their votes till 1400 hrs. HJC's Rakesh Kamboj, Congress candidate Bhimsen Mehta and INLD's Ashok Kashyap are locked in a triangular contest in this seat. There were reports of skirmishes between the Congress and the INLD supporters at some places but no major untoward incident took place in Indri.

In all, 13 aspirants are in the fray in this constituency with an electorate of 1,39,468 voters of whom 63,017 are women. Of the total 147 polling booths, 22 were declared very sensitive and 46 sensitive.

In Gohana constituency in Sonepat district, over 70 per cent polling was reported. This assembly seat is also witnessing a triangular contest among HJC's Dharmpal Malik, Congress candidate Jagbir Singh Malik and INLD's K C Bangar.

Gohana has an electorate of 1,17,263 with 53,200 women voters. There are 21 candidates in the fray in this constituency. Of the 144 polling booths, 73 are hyper-sensitive and 15 sensitive.

In all the three assembly seats, the bypoll was necessitated after the three Congress legislators from these constituencies were disqualified for joining the HJC, headed by Mr Kuldeep Singh Bishnoi--son of ailing Haryana leader Bhajan Lal.

The counting would take place on May 25 and all the results are expected to be declared by the evening on that day.

UNI

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