Pollsters may not be giving too many seats to the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), Haryana's main opposition party, in the state's recently held Lok Sabha elections, but the turnout of voters in assembly constituencies of INLD legislators is making the party upbeat about the results.
Some of the biggest turnouts in the April 10 Lok Sabha polling were in constituencies where the INLD dominates. Haryana's 10 Lok Sabha seats, with nearly 16.1 million voters, recorded over 72% polling this time.
Sirsa district, which is the home turf of jailed INLD president Om Prakash Chautala, recorded the highest turnout of voters at 77.83%. While male voters here had a turnout of 78.3%, women voters were not far behind at 75.75%.
In the Kalanwali assembly segment, from where INLD candidate for the Sirsa Lok Sabha seat Charanjit Singh comes, saw the highest polling of 80.88% among all assembly segments in Haryana's 90 assembly seats.
Two other assembly segments, Ellenabad and Rania, both strongholds of the INLD, saw 80.76% and 80.51% polling. Ellenabad is represented in the assembly by Chautala's son and INLD leader Abhay Chautala while the Rania seat is also held by an INLD legislator.
The Dabwali assembly segment too was close to the 80% mark. This seat, represented by Chautala's elder son, Ajay Chautala, in the assembly, recorded 79.63% polling. "Our INLD cadres and leaders worked very hard this time. The turnout in our assembly constituencies has reflected the mood of the people who have showered their love. Our party will win a number of seats," INLD senior leader Abhay Chautala told IANS.
The lowest polling recorded in any assembly segment was in Ballabhgarh which saw less than 60% voting. The seat is held by the ruling Congress.
The INLD, which did not form an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) this time, contested the Lok Sabha polls independently. The party surely missed the presence of its top leaders Om Prakash Chautala and Ajay Chautala. Both are at present in Delhi's Tihar prison after their conviction by a CBI court in January last year in a teachers' recruitment scam.
The BJP, which is expecting to do well in the Lok Sabha polls, had an alliance with the Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) led by Hisar MP Kuldeep Bishnoi, son of former chief minister Bhajan Lal.
In the 2004 and 2009 parliamentary elections, the INLD could not win a single Lok Sabha seat. In the 2009 elections, the Congress swept nine seats while the HJC won the Hisar Lok Sabha seat. "We will do much better this time. We have a clear edge on most of the seats this time while we are giving a tough fight on a couple of seats," INLD spokesman Ram Singh Brar said.
Polling in Haryana state (formed Nov 1, 1966) crossed the 70% mark only in the 1967, 1977 and 1996 parliamentary elections. The highest ever polling, 73.26%, was in the 1977 general elections.