Chandigarh, Oct 24 (IANS) The counting of nearly 1.24 crore ballots for the 90 Assembly seats of Haryana began on Thursday morning amidst tight security, electoral officials said. The first trends are expected by 10 a.m.
Amid reports of minor skirmishes, 68.31 per cent voting was recorded on October 21.
The result will decide the fate of 1,169 candidates, including 105 women and a transgender.
Joint Chief Electoral Officer Inder Jeet told IANS that 91 counting centres have been set up at 59 places.
He said two counting centres have been set up in the Badshahpur Assembly as it has the largest number of polling stations.
He said each counting centre would be equipped with a three-tire security system.
The main contest is between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress.
However, all eyes are on Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Congress leaders Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Randeep Surjewala, Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) leader Dushyant Chautala and Indian National Lok Dal’s (INLD) Abhay Chautala.
Outgoing ministers Ram Bilas Sharma, Anil Vij, Capt Abhimanyu, O.P. Dhankar and Kavita Jain are also in the fray.
The other Congress bigwigs include Kiran Choudhary and Kuldeep Bishnoi.
The BJP has fielded TikTok star Sonali Phogat and three international sportspersons — Babita Phogat, Yogeshwar Dutt and Sandeep Singh.
While the BJP, the Congress and the JJP are contesting on all 90 seats, the BSP is in the fray on 87 seats, and the INLD is contesting on 81 seats. There are some 375 candidates contesting as independents.
Riding high on pro-incumbency and the Modi wave, Khattar believes he will take his party’s tally to ’75 plus’ from the present 47 legislators, while Hooda of the Congress has been raising the pitch against unemployment, law and order and lack of development.
A total of 69.74 per cent of voters had cast their votes in the state in the Lok Sabha election in May.
In the 2014 Assembly polls, Haryana recorded the highest-ever turnout of 76.54 per cent.