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Over 39 pc voting in Haryana till 2 pm; polling peaceful

A voter turnout of 39.16 per cent was recorded till 2 pm in ten Lok Sabha seats of Haryana on Sunday, with Kurukshetra and Hisar constituencies witnessing brisk polling.

Polling began Sunday at 7 am and will continue till 6 pm in the 10 parliamentary constituencies which are going to polls in a single phase, officials said.

The poll percentage recorded till 2 pm for the ten seats was 39.16 per cent, poll officials said.

As per the constituency-wise break up, Kurukshetra from where Haryana minister Nayab Singh Saini is pitted against Congress's Nirmal Singh and INLD's Arjun Chautala, recorded poll percentage of 44.43 while Hisar recorded poll percentage of 43.72.

Sirsa, Karnal, Bhiwani-Mahendergarh, Sonipat, Rohtak, Gurgaon, Ambala and Faridabad registered polling percentage of 39.30, 34.71, 42.20, 40.53, 38.97, 37.22, 35.75 and 37.15 respectively, as per poll officials.

Indian Cricket team captain Virat Kohli was among early voters who exercised his franchise at a polling booth in Gurgaon. After exercising his franchise, he posted a picture of his inked finger on his Twitter handle.

Voting is your right and responsibility towards nation building. Go vote, he tweeted while urging voters to go out and cast their vote.

Polling was initially slow in Gurgaon and Rohtak but started to pick pace as the day progressed.

Haryana's joint chief electoral officerInder Jeetsaid polling was going on peacefully across the state.

He said there were some glitches in EVMs and VVPATs at a few booths early in the morning, but the machines were replaced immediately.

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar was among the early voters in Karnal while former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda of Congress, fighting from Sonipat, cast his vote in Kiloi in Rohtak district. The state Congress chief Ashok Tanwar exercised his franchise in Sirsa. JJP candidate and Hisar sitting MP Dushyant Chautala also cast his vote in Sirsa.

JJP leader Digvijay Chautala, candidate from Sonipat, alleged that at booths number 88, 89 and 90 in Jind district, his party symbol (a pair of slippers) was "not clearly visible on EVM machines".

"This is a serious matter and the Election Commission must look into this," Digvijay said.

Enthusiastic voters were seen at several places. A bridegroom went to cast his vote in Mullana in Ambala parliamentary constituency before solemnising his marriage.

At Sirsa and Hisar, voters queued up since early morning to cast their vote. There were reports of a few centenarians also exercising their franchise.

98-year-old voter Som Dutt exercised his franchise at a booth in Yamunanagar, while 92-year-old Shanti Devi who reached the booth on a wheelchair, cast her vote in Ambala city.

Poll officer Inder Jeet said over 1.80 crore people are eligible to vote in the state.

Altogether, 223 candidates, just 11 of them women, are in the fray.

Prominent among them are Union ministers of state Rao Inderjit Singh from Gurgaon and Krishan Pal Gurjar from Faridabad.

Deepender Hooda, is seeking re-election for the fourth term from Rohtak as a Congress nominee.

Union minister Birender Singh's son Brijendra Singh (BJP) and former chief minister Bhajan Lal's grandson Bhavya Bishnoi (Congress), both political greenhorns, are contesting from the Hisar Lok Sabha seat, where they face JJP's Dushyant Chautala, who is the grandson of former chief minister O P Chautala.

Former Union minister Kumari Selja and state Congress chief Ashok Tanwar are fighting from Ambala and Sirsa, respectively, for the party. AAP state president Naveen Jaihind is contesting from Faridabad.

Among the major parties in the fight are the BJP, the Congress and the INLD, which are fighting 10 seats independently.

The Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), which was formed after a split in the INLD six months ago, is contesting on seven seats, while the remaining three seats are being fought by its ally the AAP.

The BSP is fighting on eight, leaving two for its ally Loktantra Suraksha Party floated by rebel BJP MP Raj Kumar Saini.

A large number of women were seen in queues at the tastefully decorated 'Sakhi Matdan Kendras', which are exclusively run by women and have been set up in each assembly segment.