NEW DELHI :
In 2014 assembly elections in which Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stormed to power in Haryana, it saw one of the highest turn out of 76.13%. Exactly five years later, the turnout for the assembly elections decreased drastically and polling was limited to only 68.47%. As early trends show a close three cornered contest in the state, could a low turnout be a cause behind it?
Interestingly, in most state elections as well as Lok Sabha elections in May, turnouts have largely improved compared to previous elections. A higher turnout has hence often resulted in decisive mandates, including the Lok Sabha elections where BJP returned to power beating anti-incumbency of one term.
Interestingly, the single phased polling in Haryana took place on Monday and there was a speculation that a section of voters may not turn up because of the extended weekend owing to polling day leave and ongoing festive season. Political parties particularly the BJP had sensed that this could impact the voter turnout. Prime Minister Narendra Modi too had repeatedly requested voters to not skip voting during his campaign rallies urging them to perform their ‘national duty’.
Now, as per early trends, while the BJP is slowly inching closer towards half way mark in the 90 member assembly, Congress is improving its tally compared to 2014 and Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) is also leading in several seats. In 2014, Congress had won 15 assembly seats out of 90, while the BJP formed government with 47 seats.
Along with Haryana, Maharashtra too went to polls on Monday and counting in both the seats began on Thursday morning. Maharashtra too saw a dip in turnout at 61.28% as compared to 63.08% in 2014 assembly elections.
Haryana Polls 2019: Catch live counting day updates here