Jind bypolls: Digvijay Chautala of Jannayak Janata Party leading
The candidate of the month-old Jannayak Janata Party, Digvijay Singh Chautala, was leading over his nearest BJP rival Krishan Middha, as per early trends available for the high-stakes Jind bypoll in Haryana.
As per early trends available after counting of votes at the end of third of the total 13 rounds, Chautala was leading over Middha by margin of nearly 1,900 votes.
Congress' senior leader and bypoll candidate Randeep Singh Surjewala was at third spot.The available trends did not bring good news for main opposition INLD, which held the seat, as the party candidate was trailing.
Counting of votes for the bypoll 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.