GN BUREAU | October 15, 2014
Going by early reports and indications, the going is not exactly going as per plan for the BJP, with slow polling in Maharashtra, especially Mumbai and suburbs, in the first couple of hours and reports of a surge for Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in Haryana.
The situation, however, is expected to change and many political observers expect a late surge in voting, As was the case in the Lok Sabha elections this summer.
By 11 am, amid reports of clashes between the INLD and BJP workers and allegations of rigging at some places, Haryana reported close to 15 percent voting for the 90-member assembly.
By 12.30 pm, Ambala saw 33.2 polling, Bhiwani 29.2 percent, Faridabad 25 percent, Fatehabad 36.1 percent, Gurgaon 26.1 percent, Hisar 31.5 percent, according to a tweet by the Indian Express.
Both BJP and INLD are trying to encash the anti-incumbency factor against chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, whose Congress government is mired in allegations of land scams in the state.
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While the BJP has played the Narendra Modi ‘development’ card for the 90-member assembly seat, Om Prakash Chautala’s INLD is hoping to get sympathy votes in the name of its patriarch and the former CM, who is serving a 10-year jail term in the junior basic teachers scam.
In Maharashtra, latest reports suggested 13.60% voting in Mumbai, 34% in Gadchiroli, 17.23% in Beed, 18% in Satara, 15% in Dhule, 21% in Nanded, 22% in Latur, 17% in Amravati, 22% in Sangli, 21% in Aurangabad and 17% in Yavatmal so far. For the first time, the state is witnessing a five-cornered fight, with the BJP-Shiv Sena and Congress-NCP alliances called off.
Maharashtra has 288 seats, with the Congress-NCP alliance, which tumbled recently after the NCP pulled out of the coalition, in power since 1999.
The state has nearly 8.35 crore voters and 4,119 candidates are in fray, including 276 women. Most opinion polls in both states have predicted fragmented verdict.
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