Former Haryana Congress president Ashok Tanwar and Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) leader Dushyant Chautala hold up maces during a public meeting ahead of Haryana Assembly elections, at Matanhail village in Jhajjhar on Saturday

DW BUREAU / CHANDIGARH

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing two rallies in Rewari and Ellenabad on the last day, the campaigning for the Haryana assembly elections ended on Saturday evening. The elections will be held on October 21, results of which will be declared on October 24.

Of the over 1.83 crore voters, over 83 lakh are women.

As many as 19,578 polling stations, 13,837 of these in rural areas, had been set up across the state amid tight security arrangements, officials said.

The state has 90 assembly segments, for which 1,169 candidates, including 105 women, are in the fray. While the ruling BJP made the scrapping of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir a major poll plank, the opposition slammed the government over issues of unemployment and farmers’ distress during electioneering. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has set a target of bagging over 75 seats. Currently it has 48 members in the 90-member assembly. To give a boost to the election campaigning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held two rallies in Ellenabad in Sirsa and Rewari.

Prominent amongst those in the contest are Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar (Karnal), former CM and Congress Legislative Party leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda (Garhi Sampla-Kiloi), Randeep Singh Surjewala (Kaithal), Kiran Choudhary (Tosham) and Kuldeep Bishnoi (Adampur). Besides, JJP’s Dushyant Chautala (Uchana Kalan), INLD’s Abhay Singh Chautala (Ellenabad), state BJP chief Subhash Barala (Tohana), lone woman minister Kavita Jain (Sonipat), ministers Ram Bilas Sharma (Mahendergarh), Anil Vij (Ambala Cantt), O P Dhankar (Badli) and Capt Abhimanyu (Narnaund) are also in the fray. The BJP has fielded three sportspersons-Babita Phogat (Dadri), Yogeshwar Dutt (Baroda in Sonipat) and Sandeep Singh (Pehowa)–besides TikTok artist Sonali Phogat (Adampur).

The main contest is seen between the BJP, Congress and the Jannayak Janata Party.

However, CM Khattar claimed that the opposition was in disarray and the BJP has no direct contest with any party. The BSP, AAP, INLD-SAD combine, Swaraj India and the Loktantra Suraksha Party (LSP) have thrown the hat into the ring, though none of them is fighting on all 90 seats. The high-voltage electioneering saw the BJP fielding a galaxy of leaders, including PM Modi, his cabinet colleagues Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh and Smriti Irani.

BjP’s Hema Malini, Sunny Deol and Gautam Gambhir also canvassed for the party.

(editor@dailyworld.in)

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