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Polling commences in Haryana and Punjab

Polling commences in Haryana and Punjab
PTI
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First Published: Thu, May 07 2009. 08 42 AM IST
Updated: Thu, May 07 2009. 08 42 AM IST
Chandigarh: Polling for ten Lok Sabha seats in Haryana where elections are being held Thursday in the fourth phase began this morning during which fate of prominent leaders including Bhajan Lal will be decided.
Voting, which began this morning for the ten seats for which 210 candidates are in fray, would end at 1700 hrs. About 1.20 crore voters are eligible to cast their franchise across 12,894 polling stations, where ballots would be cast electronically.
Apart from 78-year-old Lal, who is fighting polls on his son Kuldeep Bishnoi led Haryana Janhit Congress (BL) party from Hisar, the other key contestants whose fate would be sealed today include Union Ministers Selja and Rao Inderjit Singh, both Congress from Ambala (SC) and Gurgaon respectively, industrialist Navin Jindal (Congress, Kurukshetra), Haryana INLD President Ashok Arora (Kurukshetra), former cricketer Chetan Sharma (BSP, Faridabad) and INLD Secretary General Ajay Singh Chautala (Bhiwani Mahendragarh).
The 210 candidates include 14 women and 117 independents.
The four main contenders the ruling Congress, the opposition BJP-INLD alliance, newly formed Haryana Janhit Congress BL and the BSP have put up candidates on all the 10 seats.
Tight security arrangements have been put in place to thwart any untoward incident.
The maximum number of 38 candidates are in fray from Hisar and the lowest number of contestants seven are from Ambala (SC).
The Congress had won nine seats in 2004 parliamentary polls and the BJP had won one.
Polling starts in Punjab
As the clock struck 7 am the polling for four Lok Sabha seats, including hyper-sensitive constituencies of Bathinda and Patiala, in Punjab Thursday commenced on a sedate note.
While the Congress is optimistic in improving its tally, the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-BJP alliance is hopeful to repeat the performance of 2004 Lok Sabha polls. Presently the Congress has two seats whereas the SAD-BJP alliance 11 out of the total 13 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
About 52.75 lakh voters would seal the fate of 79 candidates, including three women and 37 independents for the four seats of Bathinda, Patiala, Ferozepur and Sangrur which have considerable clout of Dera Sacha Sauda sect.
Prestige of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and his predecessor Capt Amarinder Singh is at stakes in Bathinda Lok Sabha constituency.
Badal’s daughter-in-law Harsimrat Kaur is involved in a fierce battle against Amarinder’s son Raninder Singh from Bathinda.
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First Published: Thu, May 07 2009. 08 42 AM IST