JIND: Nearly 75 per cent of over 1.72 lakh electorate on Monday voted in Haryana Jind Assembly seat's multi-cornered by-election in a contest equally vital for the BJP, INLD, Congress and the newly formed JJP. It was largely peaceful.
The bye-election was necessitated after the death of two-time INLD legislator Hari Chand Middha, whose son is in the fray on BJP ticket.
There was no untoward incident anywhere in the constituency, District Electoral Officer Amit Khatri told reporters here.
Despite the early morning chill, voters queued up at most polling stations, both in rural and urban areas, even before the voting exercise began at 7 a.m. It ended at 5 p.m.
Women turned out in strength in the rural areas.
There were minor hiccups as some electronic voting machines developed snags at some places.
Ten per cent voted in the first two hours. By 2 p.m., the poll percentage rose to 50 per cent. It picked up gradually. By 5 p.m. it was 72 per cent and a large number of people were seen standing outside the polling booths waiting for their turn.
There were total 174 polling booths.
Jind is predominantly an urban constituency where caste combinations play an important role.
Over 1.72 lakh registered voters were eligible to exercise their franchise in Jind. The constituency has a substantial vote of the Scheduled Castes (SC) and backward classes (around 50 per cent) and Jats (around 25 per cent).
The bye-election is a test for all the four parties in the fray -- the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, the Congress, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP). There were 21 candidates, including 16 independents.
The four main candidates are Randeep Singh Surjewala (Congress), Krishan Middha (BJP), Umed Singh (INLD) and Digvijay Chautala (JJP).
This by-election is being seen as a referendum on the over four years of the BJP government in Haryana.
Counting of votes will take place on January 31.
In 2014, the INLD got 31,631 votes, followed by the BJP (29,374) and the Congress (15,267).