Jind: All necessary arrangements have been put in place for the smooth and peaceful conduct of polling on Monday for the high-stakes bypoll for the Jind assembly constituency.
The constituency is witnessing a multi-cornered contest with prestige at stake for key political outfits, including the ruling BJP and the opposition Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), Congress and the fledgeling JJP, formed by Lok Sabha MP Dushyant Chautala after splitting in INLD.
The bypoll was necessitated following the death of INLD legislator Hari Chand Middha in August last year.
As many as 1,71,113 people, including nearly 80,000 women, are eligible to vote, officials said, adding 158 polling stations have been set up, of which 67 are in rural areas. The votes will be polled between 7 am and 5 pm, Election Commission officials said.
As part of elaborate security arrangements to ensure smooth and peaceful conduct of polling, nearly 3,000 policemen will be put on duty, a senior police official said.
He said the Jind assembly segment has been divided into 24 sectors, with six deputy superintendents of police being made in-charge to oversee security arrangements.
Counting of votes will take place on 31 January. Twenty-one candidates including two women have entered the fray.
Prominent among the candidates include senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala, who is also the party's sitting MLA from Kaithal, the late Hari Chand Middha's son and ruling BJP candidate Krishan Middha and INLD's Umed Singh Redhu.
Besides, the bypoll will also decide the fate of Digvijay Singh Chautala and Vinod Arshi, respective candidates of two newly formed political outfits — Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) and Loktantra Suraksha Party (LSP) of BJP's rebel MP Raj Kumar Saini.
Earlier, the high-decibel canvassing exercise, which came to an end on Saturday evening, was dominated by barbs, charges and counter-charges as arch-rivals BJP, Congress, INLD and JJP are eyeing the results as a self-assessment exercise ahead of Lok Sabha polls this year.
The high-stakes election is considered a referendum on the Manohar Lal Khattar government and also a semi-final ahead of Lok Sabha elections. Notably, Surjewala, Redhu and Digvijay are all Jats while Middha belongs to the Punjabi community.
As many as 48,000 voters — out of the total 1,71,113 eligible to vote — belong to the Jat community while the remaining belong to Brahmin, Punjabi and other communities. Arshi, a Brahmin leader from Jind, could also play spoilsport in the multi-cornered contest.
Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.
Updated Date: Jan 27, 2019 17:43:23 IST