Assembly elections in Haryana were marred by violence in Rohtak, Mewat and Kaithal even as the state registered 65 per cent voting. The police resorted to cane charge in Kaithal after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress’s supporters clashed with each other.
ADGP Navdeep Singh Virk said seven people were injured in poll violence in many parts of the state including Mewat. The police have registered a dozen cases against the violators who indulge in stone pelting and firing on the voting day.
In Mewat, violence took place at four places including Dondal, Malhaka Salamba and Ghaseda when the BJP and the Congress workers clashed with each other and indulged in stone-pelting. Stone pelting was also reported in Gondal and Malhaka villages of Firozpur Jhirka Assembly constituency when supporters of Congress leader Mamman Khan and BJP leader Nasim Ahmad clashed with each other.
The BJP and the Congress supporters also clashed with each other in Kaithal ITI campus. According to the police, a firing incident took place in Jasia village senior secondary school campus in Rohtak Assembly constituency in which one person, identified as Pawan, was injured. He has been admitted to a local hospital.
Despite the violence in three districts of the state, senior police officials claimed the polls in Haryana were largely ‘peaceful’.
“Polling in all 90 seats of the state assembly was conducted in a peaceful manner. All efforts to disrupt the polling process were neutralised as a result of the energetic patrolling by the concerned SP, DSP and SHO, coupled with effective action and decisive intervention carried out since early morning across the state,” Haryana Director General of Police (DGP) Manoj Yadava said.
The DGP said elaborate and effective security arrangement were made through the effective and well-planned deployment of the Central Armed Police Forces and state police force.
“No untoward incident or poll-related violence was reported from anywhere till the completion of the polling. However, about half a dozen incidents of clashes outside the polling booths were reported from Rohtak and Nuh districts,” the DGP said.
Police officials said more than 75,000 personnel from the state and Central Armed Police Forces were deployed to ensure that no anti-social element causes any trouble.
Meanwhile, the leaders of all the political parties including Congress, BJP, INLD and JJP have made claims that they are going to form a government in the state.
BJP appeared in a strong position as far as the aggressive campaigning was concerned but the voters appeared silent. While the urban voters were reluctant to come out of their homes to cast their votes, the rural voters in Jatland turned up in large numbers to exercise their franchise.
“It was evident that the people will hesitate to cast their vote this time. This is due to the misleading messages being spread on social and mainstream media that BJP was forming a government in the state. People are fed up with the functioning of the BJP government in the state which failed to deliver,” INLD spokesperson Satbir Singh Saini said.
He added, “The rising unemployment rate which is higher than the national average has exposed the hollow promises. The services like education and health are in shambles.”
The poor turnout at the polling stations has hinted that the BJP may not be able to achieve its target of 75 seats. Interestingly, the higher turnout of voters in the Jatland has elated the Congress and INLD besides the JJP.
Announcing the poll percentage, Chief Electoral Officer, Haryana Anurag Agarwal said that the places where the complaints related to EVM machines kept near the window was reported were immediately resolved and the EVM machines were removed from the window.
He said that a sign language video was shown to the dumb and mute voters in Karnal so that the voters can cast their votes. Similarly, special arrangements were made for the elderly and disabled voters ensuring that they do not face any problem while casting their votes.
Anurag Agarwal further said that webcasting was arranged at polling stations, telecast of which was seen live in the control room.