A total of 1.81 lakh eligible voters will decide the fate of 14 candidates, including Olympian and BJP candidate Yogeshwar Dutt and Congress’s Induraj Narwal aka Bhalu, who are in the fray for the Baroda bypoll in Haryana on Tuesday. Poll authorities have planned handing out gloves to each voter. Further, those suspected of being unwell and having high fever will be asked to cast their votes in last one hour of the polling. The voters will be asked to maintain two-yard distance at the lines meant to wait to cast the vote. Voters will be screened through thermal scanners at each polling booth, Gohana Sub-divisional Magistrate Ashish Kumar said. He added that hand sanitisers, masks and gloves will available at polling stations, which will be sanitised. Besides, PPE (personal protective equipment) kits, gloves and sanitisers have been arranged for the polling staff.
Authorities have identified as many as 19 out of total 54 villages of Baroda constituency as “vulnerable villages” where paramilitary forces like Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) and Central Armed Police Force (CIPF) will be deployed apart from the policemen.
Sonipat Deputy Commissioner Shyam Lal Poonia told The Indian Express that in comparison to rest of the 35 village, 2.5 times more security personnel will be deployed in vulnerable villages.
To prevent the spread of coronavirus on the poll day, the election authorities have asked the voters to come to the polling booths wearing masks.
“We will provide a mask, if any voter comes to the polling booth without wearing it. We will provide gloves for one hand of each of the voters,” said Poonia.
The voting will take place at 280 polling booths in 118 locations. Boarding in 75 buses, as many as 336 polling parties went to the polling booths on Monday.
There will be five ideal polling booths too where the voters will be invited to cast the votes with the provision of facilities of like drinking water.
About 2,300 policemen including six DSPs and 23 Inspectors will be deployed to maintain law and order in the constituency for the voting day. With formation of 47 police teams, the police say, it will reach within 5 to 10 minutes anywhere in the constituency after getting information in case of requirement of its assistance.
Because of the on-going Covid-19 pandemic, the Election Commission had decided to issue postal ballot papers for the persons with disability voters and voters above 80 years of age so that they can exercise their franchise in a hassle-free manner. Officials said more than 400 voters exercised their right to vote through the ballot papers by Sunday.
Meanwhile, Yogeshwar Dutt celebrated his 38th birthday at the BJP office at Gohana on Monday. BJP state president Om Prakash Dhankar, BJP MP Sanjay Bhatia and JJP leader KC Banger were present on this occasion. Dhankar claimed they will win the seat with the support from people of the constituency.
Congress’s Induraj Narwal Monday said the Baroda constituency had witnessed lot of developmental works during the Congress rule led by Bhupinder Singh Hooda. “The BJP-JJP government has ignored every section of the society including farmers,” said Narwal while expressing confidence for his win. The Indian National Lok Dal led by former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala has fielded Jogender Malik for the poll battle while BJP rebel Raj Kumar Saini, who heads the Loktantra Suraksha Party, is also in the fray and is trying to make his presence felt in the poll scenario. The BJP had won 40 of the 90 Assembly seats in 2019 and later formed the government with the JJP’s support, which had won 10 seats. A win in Baroda will take the saffron party’s tally to 41, while if the Congress wins, its tally will remain unchanged at 31 as the seat was held by its now deceased MLA Shri Krishan Hooda. The INLD’s strength will rise to two if they win the seat.
(WITH PTI INPUTS)
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