December 27, 2020 9:27:47 pm
A voting percentage of nearly 60 was recorded as polling remained peaceful in the elections to municipal bodies in Haryana on Sunday, which were held amid tight security and adherence to the norms in place in view of the coronavirus pandemic, officials said. The polling started at 8 am and continued till 5:30 pm.
“According to the preliminary figures available at the close of voting, nearly 60 per cent polling has been recorded. No untoward incident was reported from anywhere and the polling remained peaceful,” State Election Commissioner Dalip Singh told PTI.
The polls were held to elect the mayors and members of all the wards of Ambala, Panchkula and Sonipat municipal corporations, the president and members of the Municipal Council of Rewari and the municipal committees of Sampla (Rohtak), Dharuhera (Rewari) and Ukalana (Hisar).
Besides, bypolls for ward number 7 of the Municipal Committee, Indri (Karnal), ward number 13 of Bhuna (Fatehabad), ward number 12 of Rajound (Kaithal), ward number 14 of the Municipal Council, Fatehabad and ward number 29 of the Municipal Council, Sirsa were also held.
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Singh said elaborate arrangements were made to ensure free, fair and transparent elections. “Adequate police force was deployed to maintain law and order at the polling stations and in sensitive and hypersensitive areas, while poll observers were also put on duty,” he said.
The results will be out on December 30. There is a direct fight between the ruling BJP-JJP combine and the Congress in the polls. Earlier this month, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) had announced that it will boycott the municipal polls in protest against the alleged atrocities committed on farmers by the Centre and the state’s BJP-JJP government.
The State Election Commission had also allowed the COVID-19 patients, who are quarantined, to cast their votes in the last hour at their respective polling stations under the supervision of health authorities.
Sector magistrates were put on duty to coordinate this at the polling stations allocated to them. Braving the cold weather, people came out to cast their votes since morning. Over 7.80 lakh voters were eligible to exercise their franchise in the municipal polls.
Singh said in view of COVID-19, all the standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by central and state authorities were strictly followed. The polling stations were sanitised a day before the elections.
Singh inspected several polling stations in Panchkula to ensure that the COVID-related guidelines were strictly followed.
The voters and every person involved in the election activity had to wear face masks at polling stations. The polling staff provided masks to those voters who were not carrying the same at the entry point of the polling stations.
Thermal-scanning of all persons was done at the entry point of the polling stations. Bottles of hand sanitiser were kept at appropriate locations inside the booths and disposable hand gloves were provided to the voters for signing on the voter register and pressing the EVM button.
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