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Jind bypoll: Counting of votes begins

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Press Trust of India Jind (Har)
Counting of votes for the high-stake Jind bypoll in Haryana began here Thursday amid tight security arrangements.
The counting began at 8 am and results are expected to be out by afternoon, officials here said.
Twenty-one candidates, including two women, had contested the bypoll, which were held on January 28.
A healthy voter turnout of 75.77 per cent was reported in the by-election to the Jind assembly constituency, dubbed as a prestige battle for the ruling BJP, the Congress and the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) ahead of the parliamentary and assembly polls.
The bypoll is also important for the newly-floated Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), which was formed after a split in the main opposition INLD.
The by-election was necessitated following the death of INLD MLA Hari Chan Middha, whose son Krishan Middha recently joined the BJP and contested as the saffron party's candidate for the bypoll.Hari Chand Middha had represented Jind twice.
The Congress fielded its senior leader and sitting MLA from Kaithal constituency Randeep Singh Surjewala. The INLD banked on Umed Singh Redhu to retain the seat.
The JJP put its weight behind Digvijay Singh Chautala, the younger son of jailed leader Ajay Singh Chautala, who broke away from the INLD and floated the party last month.
Loktantra Suraksha Party (LSP), which is led by BJP's rebel MP Raj Kumar Saini, had also entered the fray and fielded its candidate.
The bypoll was held just months ahead of the Lok Sabha and assembly elections in Haryana making it even more important.
Arch rivals BJP, Congress, INLD and JJP are eyeing the results as a self-assessment exercise ahead of Lok Sabha polls this year.
The high-stake election is considered a referendum on the Manohar Lal Khattar government and also a semi-final ahead of Lok Sabha elections.

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First Published: Jan 31 2019 | 9:20 AM IST

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