CHANDIGARH: The Jind Assembly by-poll, being dubbed as the semi-final ahead of the Lok Sabha polls for all four major contenders, saw over 75.77 per cent turnout on Monday. Arch rivals BJP, Congress, Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and newly-formed Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) — formed by Lok Sabha MP Dushyant Chautala after his split from INLD — are eyeing the results as a self-assessment exercise ahead of the polls. Twenty-one candidates, including two women, are in the fray.
Prominent among them are senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala, who is a sitting MLA from Kaithal, BJP’s Krishan Middha, INLD’s Umed Singh Redhu, Digvijay Singh Chautala, backed by JJP, and Vinod Arshi of Loktantra Suraksha Party (LSP).
The by-poll was necessitated following the death of INLD MLA Hari Chan Middha, whose son Krishna recently joined the BJP and is the saffron party’s candidate for the by-election. Counting will take place on January 31.
Nearly 1.7 lakh people, including 80,556 women were eligible to vote, as 71 polling booths in rural areas and 103 polling booths in urban areas were set up.
Nearly 3,000 policemen, 500 home guards and over 200 personnel drawn from the CRPF and the Rapid Action Force were deployed to ensure smooth polling. Officials said that polling remained peaceful.
Voters, including nonagenarians, queued up outside polling stations.