Around 66.25 per cent voters exercised their franchise in the 10 Lok Sabha seats of Haryana in the Phase 6 of 2019 Lok Sabha elections on Sunday. In the 2014 general election, the overall poll percentage stood at 71.86. State Joint Chief Electoral Officer Inderjeet Singh said the exact percentage would be known later and those voters who had entered the polling booths before 6 pm will be allowed to cast their votes. No untoward incident was reported in the state and the polling remained peaceful.
The turnout in seven constituencies crossed 60 per cent, while the poll percentage in Gurgaon, Karnal and Faridabad was less than 60 per cent, the officer said. There were reports of minor skirmishes from some parts, including Fatehabad, Nuh in Mewat, Sirsa and Gurgaon between supporters of political parties.
While poll officials said voting went on smoothly during the day, Congress' Rohtak candidate, Deepender Singh Hooda, who is seeking re-election for a fourth term, accused Haryana minister and Rohtak MLA Manish Grover of intimidating voters by forcibly entering some polling booths.
Deepender Hooda, son of former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, also lodged a complaint with Rohtak's deputy commissioner. Grover rejected the charge as "baseless" allegations in the face of "imminent defeat". The minister alleged that there were complaints against Congress workers of intimidating some voters.
Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) leader and Sonipat candidate Digvijay Chautala alleged that his party symbol (a pair of slippers) were not clearly visible on electronic voting machines at booths 88, 89 and 90 in Jind district.
The election officer said there were some glitches in EVMs and the voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) at a few booths early in the morning, but those were replaced immediately. In the initial hours, the polling was brisk, but as the day progressed, the turnout dropped slightly.
Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli posted a picture of his inked finger on Twitter after exercising his franchise at a polling booth in Gurgaon. "Voting is your right and responsibility towards nation building. Go vote," he said.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar voted in Karnal, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who is fighting from Sonipat, cast his vote at Kiloi in Rohtak district. State Congress chief Ashok Tanwar, JJP candidate and sitting Hisar MP Dushyant Chautala exercised their franchise in Sirsa.
Enthusiastic voters were seen at several places. A groom went to cast his vote in Mullana village of Ambala constituency before solemnising his marriage. A few nonagenarians also exercised their franchise. Som Dutt, 98, exercised his franchise at a booth in Yamunanagar while 92-year-old Shanti Devi who reached the booth on a wheelchair cast her vote in Ambala town.
A large number of women were seen in queues at the Sakhi Matdan Kendras, which are exclusively run by women and have been set up in each assembly segment. Over 1.80 crore people are eligible to vote in the state., where 223 candidates, including only 11 women, are in the fray.