Polling below approach for Baroda bypoll; Khattar, Hooda attraction to individuals to vote in massive numbers

Chandigarh, November 3

Polling is under way on Tuesday for the bypoll to Baroda assembly seat in Haryana.

The polling started at 7 am and will continue till 6 pm, officials said.

Around 1.81 lakh eligible voters will decide the fate of 14 candidates, including Olympian wrestler and BJP nominee Yogeshwar Dutt, in the fray for the bypoll.

The Baroda seat fell vacant in April after the demise of Congress MLA Krishan Hooda, who had won the seat in the 2009, 2014 and 2019 Assembly polls.

A total of 280 polling booths have been set up, of which 151 have been categorised as “vulnerable”.

Security personnel, including three companies of paramilitary force, have been deployed to ensure a peaceful bypoll, the officials said.

Voters are being screened through thermal scanners at polling booths in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Masks and gloves are also being given to voters and they have been asked to maintain physical distancing at the polling stations.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar appealed to Baroda voters to ensure maximum participation in the voting process.

“In democracy, each vote is valuable and your one vote is also valuable. I appeal to all of you to participate in the ‘utsav’ of democracy with your family in large numbers and cast votes,” Khattar tweeted.

Senior Congress leader and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, in a tweet, also urged voters to exercise their franchise by following COVID-19-related safety precautions.

BJP candidate Yogeshwar Dutt cast his vote in the morning. Before exercising his franchise, the wrestler-turned-politician performed ‘puja’ at his academy.

Talking to reporters, Olympian wrestler Dutt appealed to people to cast their vote saying his objective is to serve people.

Elders, women and youth started coming to polling booths after voting began in the morning.

The ruling BJP has fielded wrestler-turned-politician Dutt, who is also backed by saffron ally JJP.

The opposition Congress has fielded former Sonepat Zila Parishad member Indu Raj Narwal and the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) has put its money on Joginder Malik.

There are a total 1,80,529 voters, including service voters. Out of which, 99,726 are men, 80,801 women and two transgenders, the officials said. PTI

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