A high voter turnout was recorded in crucial bypolls in Haryana's Jind and Rajasthan's Ramgarh assembly constituencies on Monday, where the Congress and the BJP are locked in a high-stakes battle.
In the Jind assembly by-election, the turnout was recorded at over 70 per cent at 5 PM. The voter turnout in Ramgarh was 78.9 %. The election was postponed following the death of BSP candidate Laxman Singh.
The officials said the turnout in both seats is likely to increase. Final figures are expected later in the day or Tuesday morning. The votes will be counted on January 31.
All four major contenders in Jind -- the ruling BJP, Congress, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), which was formed after a split in the INLD -- have pulled out all the stops for a victory, which could prove to be a morale booster for the rank and file.
The Congress fielded its chief national spokesperson and sitting MLA from Kaithal constituency Randeep Singh Surjewala. The JJP has put its weight behind Digvijay Chautala, the younger son of jailed leader Ajay Singh Chautala, who broke away from the INLD and floated the party.
For the BJP, Congress, INLD and the JJP, the outcome would help in a self-assessment exercise ahead of Lok Sabha polls this year.
The high-stakes election is considered a referendum on the Manohar Lal Khattar government and also a semi-final ahead of Lok Sabha elections.
Twenty-one candidates contested in the election.