Poll din ends; Haryana heads for multi-cornered contests

Chandigarh, Oct 13 (IANS) Roadshows, rallies, door-to-door campaigning and last-minute press conferences marked the day as campaigning for elections in 90 assembly seats in Haryana ended Monday evening.

Haryana goes to polls Wednesday.
“More than 1.63 crore voters will exercise their right in Haryana,” Chief Electoral Officer Shrikant Walgad said.
Polling will be held in 16,357 centres between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. There are 1,351 candidates, including a record 109 women.
Walgad said to ensure the smooth conduct of elections, there would be about 70,000 polling officials in addition to 50,000 security personnel, including 80 companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
Walgad asked voters to exercise their franchise without fear or greed.
The main contest is between the ruling Congress, the main opposition Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The BJP is going alone for the first time in the state.
Others in the fray include the Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC), the newly floated Haryana Jan Chetna Party (HJCP) and Haryana Lokhit Party (HLP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
The Congress, led by Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, is seeking a third term in office. Hooda has been chief minister since March 2005. His second term started in November 2009.
On most seats, the contest this time is multi-cornered instead of the earlier straight contests between the Congress and INLD.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Chief Minister Hooda and others addressed election rallies on the last day of campaigning.