Chandigarh: Amid the farmers’ protests against the three contentious farm laws, the polling for municipal elections in Haryana was held on Sunday peacefully with a low turnout in the state where the ruling BJP-Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) and the Congress were locked in a straight contest.
The poll percentage for the municipal corporations of Ambala, Panchkula and Sonepat was 52 per cent, 35 per cent and 48 per cent, respectively, by the end of the polling at 5.30 p.m.
Election officials told the media the percentage of voting is expected to go up further.
These are the first elections in the state after the BJP-JJP alliance came to power in the state in October 2019.
The polling was for the seats of the mayor and members of the wards of the municipal corporations of Ambala, Panchkula and Sonepat, and president and members of the municipal council of Rewari and the municipal committees of Sampla (Rohtak), Dharuhera (Rewari) and Uklana (Hisar).
Former two-time Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Hooda had said the civic body elections would decide the future of politics in the state.
He said the farmers were agitating on the Delhi borders and instead of addressing their problem, the government was ignoring one of the biggest farmer movements of the country.
Om Prakash Chautala’s Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) boycotted these elections in protest against the force used by the BJP-JJP government against the protesting farmers.
About 1.89 lakh people will decide the fate of former mayor and Congress candidate Upinder Kaur Ahluwalia and BJP nominee Kulbhushan Goyal and four other mayoral candidates, besides electing 20 councillors from among 83 in the fray, for the civic body polls in Panchkula.
Election officials said the polling was conducted with strict Covid-19 guidelines. The mandatory sanitisation of the polling stations was done before the polling.
The last one hour of the polling time was fixed for Covid-19 patients and those having symptoms of the coronavirus.
The election for the municipalities was conducted through EVMs, while ballot papers will be used for mayor and president elections.
The counting of votes will be done on December 30.
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