Over 68 per cent of the nearly 10 lakh registered voters of Gurgaon district on Wednesday exercised their franchise in the Haryana Assembly elections.
A total of 6,79,028 votes were polled in the district, which comprises 920 polling booths and four Assembly seats — Gurgaon, Badshahpur, Pataudi and Sohna.
In Sohna, 76.6 per cent cast their votes — the highest in Gurgaon district. This was followed by Pataudi, a reserved seat, where 68 per cent voted. The constituency with the largest number of voters, Badshahpur, recorded a voter turnout of 67.2 per cent. Haryana’s most urban city Gurgaon recorded the lowest voter turnout at 63.8 per cent.
Longer queues were seen in rural areas of Gurgaon district that mostly falls under Badshahpur, Sohna and Pataudi, while the urban areas of Gurgaon city witnessed a low turnout.
Voters began to stream into polling booths early in the morning. By afternoon, around 50 per cent of the votes had been polled in rural areas such as Aklimpur, Islampur, Nathupur and Ghatta.
For residents of both rural and urban Gurgaon, it was a close contest between the BJP and the INLD. BJP workers claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s high-decibel campaign ahead of the polls won the party votes in all four constituencies, though they were all cast for the ‘Modi Sarkaar’.
“People are not voting for the BJP candidate Rao Narbir but for Modi. It doesn’t even matter to us who is contesting on the BJP ticket. We want the state to be ruled by the Centre,” Kanwar Lal, a resident of Badshahpur, said.
In the last elections, the BJP had been a marginal player in the state. Now the party, for the first time since the formation of Haryana in 1966, is trying to come to power without its ally, Haryana Janhit Congress.
In urban Gurgaon too, which recorded less than 50 per cent voter turnout, BJP rode high on the Modi wave. “The state government and the Centre should work in resonance with each other. Even though we have not seen the Gurgaon candidate Umesh Aggarwal around, we have confidence in the Modi government. He will change the face of Gurgaon city”.
Even though the polling largely remained peaceful, there were unconfirmed reports of minor altercations between supporters of INLD candidate Rakesh Daulatabad and Independent candidate Mukesh Sharma from Tikli village of Badshahpur constituency.
In Punhana in Mewat district, nearly 40 km from Gurgaon, BSP candidate Daya Bhadana broke an EVM at booth number 81 over reports of rigging.
“We have filed a case against her for breaking the machine. There were rumours of a shot being fired in some village, but we didn’t get confirmed reports,” Surender Singh, SP, Mewat, said.
There was also a report of state transport minister and Nuh (Mewat) MLA Aftab Ahmed’s brother Mehtab being attacked by INLD workers on Tuesday night. An FIR was registered in the matter.
In 2009, the turnout was 61.7 per cent. The Gurgaon constituency had fared the worst, registering 51.79 per cent. Pataudi had the highest turnout of 66.37 per cent, Sohna followed close with 66.15 per cent and Badshahpur registered 57.4 per cent polling.