CHANDIGARH: Over 25 per cent of the 1.63 crore eligible voters had exercised their franchise in Haryana till 11 AM today as polling was on at a brisk pace in the multi-cornered contest.
Two persons were injured in firing during a clash between two groups in Sirsa, police said, adding they were investigating the incident.
Amid tight security, polling commenced in all the 90 assembly seats at 7 AM and would continue till 6 PM to decide the fate of 1,351 candidates. Counting of votes will take place on October 19.
Election officials said that the polling was slow during the first two hours, but gradually picked up pace and over 25 per cent had cast their vote by 11 AM.
Barring glitches in EVM machines at a couple of places in the State, the polling was going on smoothly.
However, BJP candidate from Narnaund assembly segment Abhimanyu alleged that attempts to capture booth were made in Baas village in the constituency at the behest of rival INLD, which vehemently denied the charge.
Abhimanyu told reporters in Narnaund that wires of web-casting camera were cut in Booth No 140 and attempt was made to capture booth by the 'goondas'.
This is hyper sensitive booth, he said, "but the police administration is sitting like a mute spectator".
A spokesman of the INLD said that Abhimanyu was levelling false allegations "out of sheer frustration sensing his imminent defeat".
Two persons were injured in a firing incident in Haryana's Sirsa district.
According to Sirsa SP Mitesh Jain, the incident occurred in Modia Khera village
Asked if it is poll related clash, Jain said, "we are making investigations".
Former Haryana Minister Gopal Kanda, is contesting from Sirsa. He now heads the Haryana Lokhit Party.
Polling was going on at a brisk pace at places including Ambala, Bhiwani, Fatehabad, Hisar and Yamunanagar while it was comparatively slow at places like Rewari, election officials said.
Over 1.63 crore voters including over 87 lakh women are eligible to cast their vote in the polls with top guns including the kin of the three famous 'Lals' (Bansi Lal, Bhajan Lal and Devi Lal) battling it out in the state.
The highest number of 116 women contestants is in fray this time.
Among the candidates who cast their votes early included Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda in his home district of Rohtak. On the day of polling, Hooda looked relaxed and began his day by playing a game of badminton.
Others who cast their votes early included Haryana Ministers Randeep Singh Surjewala (Kaithal), Savitri Jindal (Hisar), Geeta Bhukkal (Jhajjar), Ajay Singh Yadav (Rewari), BJP’s Chief Ministerial aspirant Capt Abhimanyu of the BJP (Narnaund in Hisar district) and INLD's Naina Chautala (Sirsa).
Voters had started queuing up since early this morning.
A total number of 16,357 polling booths have been set up. The total number of voters also includes 88,662 service voters and 12 NRI voters.
Unlike in the recent past, when the fight has mainly been limited between Congress and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), a number of new players have thrown their hats in the ring this time.
BJP, which has in the past elections remained a marginal player in the state, is trying to come to power on its own for the first time since the formation of Haryana in 1966.
The ruling Congress is eyeing a win for the third time in a row, mainly banking on the development card while main opposition INLD is seeking to return to power after a decade of hiatus, banking on the charisma of its President Om Prakash Chautala and consolidation of the Jat vote.
State's Chief Electoral Officer Shrikant Walgad said supervisory teams are keeping an eye on polling parties and would report from time to time during polling to their concerned senior officers.
Constant vigil was being maintained for persons and vehicles in all border areas of Haryana. Teams of flying squads were patrolling to ensure smooth conduct of elections.
Congress and BJP are contesting elections on all 90 Assembly constituencies. There are 88 candidates of INLD, 87 of BSP, 65 of HJC, 17 of CPM, 14 of CPI and 297 of registered parties including two candidates of the SAD and 603 Independents.
Out of 90 assembly Constituencies, 63 were General and 17 Reserved.
A total of 2,700 booths have been identified as sensitive. Video cameras and CCTV cameras have been installed for monitoring the election process.
The main contestants include top guns like Hooda, Randeep Surjewala (Congress), former Chief Minister Om Parkash Chautala's son Abhay, daughter-in-law Naina and grandson Dushyant (INLD), former Union Minister Venod Sharma and his wife Shakti Rani (HJCP-V),former MP Kuldeep Bishnoi, his wife Renuka and elder brother former Deputy Chief Minister Chander Mohan (HJC-BL).
Other main candidates include Haryana BJP President Ram Bilas Sharma and Abhimanyu (BJP), Arvind Sharma (BSP) and Gopal Kanda (HLP), who was booked in the Geetika Sharma suicide case.
Haryana BJP President Ram Bilas Sharma and Abhimanyu (BJP), Arvind Sharma (BSP) and Gopal Kanda (HLP), who was booked in the airhostess Geetika Sharma suicide case, are also in fray.
Bansi Lal's son and former BCCI President Ranbir Singh Mahendra, daughter-in-law (late Surender Singh's wife) and Haryana Minister Kiran Chaudhary and Lal's son-in-law Sombir Singh are contesting as Congress candidates from Badhra,
Tosham and Loharu segments in the Bhiwani district.