Polling is underway on Sunday in elections to municipal bodies in Haryana amid tight security and adherence to coronavirus norms. Polls opened at 8 am and will continue till 5:30 pm. The polls are being held to elect the mayors and members of all the wards of Ambala, Panchkula and Sonipat municipal corporations; and the president and members of Municipal Council of Rewari, Municipal Committee, Sampla (Rohtak), Dharuhera (Rewari) and Ukalana (Hisar).
Bye-elections for ward numbers 7 of Municipal Committee, Indri (Karnal), 13 of Bhuna (Fatehabad), 12 of Rajound (Kaithal), 14 of Municipal Council, Fatehabad and ward number 29 of Municipal Council, Sirsa are also being held. Poll officials said elaborate arrangements have been made for the conduct of free, fair and transparent elections. Adequate police force has been deployed to maintain law and order at the polling stations and in sensitive and hypersensitive areas, they said.
The results will be out on December 30. The polls are witnessing a direct fight between the BJP-JJP combine and the Congress. Earlier this month, the Indian National Lok Dal had announced to boycott the municipal polls in protest against the ”atrocities” allegedly committed on farmers by the Centre and the state’s BJP-JJP governments.
According to the Haryana State Election Commission, COVID-19 patients who are quarantined will be allowed to cast their vote at the last hour at their respective polling stations, under the supervision of health authorities, strictly following COVID-19 related preventive measures. Sector Magistrates shall coordinate this in their allocated polling stations. Braving the cold weather, people came out to cast their votes since morning.
Poll officials said that in view of COVID-19, all the SOPs issued by Centre and state authorities are being followed. Polling stations were sanitized a day before the poll. Voters and every person involved in election activity have to wear a face mask at polling stations. Those electors who are not carrying the mask are being provided one at the entry point of the polling station.
Thermal scanning of all persons was being done at the entry point of the polling station. Sanitisers have been kept inside the booth at appropriate locations with clear direction for use by voters. Disposable hand gloves were being provided to the voters, for signing on the voter register and pressing the EVM button.