Haryana recorded 65 percent polling on Monday with over 1.83 crore voters turning out to exercise their franchise for the 90-member state assembly. The counting of votes will take place on October 24. The main contest is between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and the opposition Congress under the leadership of two-times chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. Apart from these two, Om Prakash Chautala's Indian National Lok Dal and Dushyant Chautala-led Janata Jannayak Party are also in the fray.
Here are some of the key contests and candidates to watch out for ahead of counting of votes:
Manohar Lal Khattar: The BJP was out of sight in the political realm of Haryana until it came to power on its own for the first time in the 2014 assembly elections — winning 47 of the 90 seats. Now, the mentor being Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, the party is aiming to rewrite history by securing a successive win with a publicly announced target of as many as 75 seats. Bhupinder Singh Hooda: The 72-year-old bigwig, who has been the chief minister twice and an MP four times, is seeking re-election from his home constituency Garhi Sampla-Kiloi in Rohtak district on Congress ticket. Kuldeep Bishnoi vs Sonali Phogat: A well-known star of TikTok Videos, Sonali Phogat is contesting the assembly election in Haryana, representing the BJP in Adampur Assembly constituency. She is up against senior Congress leader Kuldeep Bishnoi, a three-time sitting legislator from the constituency and son of former chief minister late Bhajan Lal. Although 15 candidates are contesting from this Jat-dominated constituency that has a voter strength of over 1.60 lakh, the major clash is seen between Phogat and 51-year-old Bishnoi. Dushyant Chautala: In the battle for Devi Lal's legacy, Dushyant Chautala seems to have outplayed his uncle in Haryana. Dushyant Chautala is contesting from Uchana Kalan in Jind district. His party is contesting all the 90 Assembly seats. The Dushyant Chautala-led JJP has managed to supersede the Indian National Lok Dal or INLD, headed by his uncle Abhay Chautala. The JJP is anticipated as the third force in the Haryana assembly elections by giving a decent fight in many seats. This election may depreciate the stature of INLD of the state politics which it once dominated. Babita Phogat: The Dadri assembly seat was pumped-up by the debut of Commonwealth Games medal winner wrestler Babita Phogat. She is contesting from the seat where no party has won consecutive terms in the past four elections. The 29-year-old BJP candidate is set against battle-scarred politicians such as Satpal Sangwan of the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) and Nirpender Singh Sangwan of the Congress. Both have won this seat earlier -- by margins of less than 2,000 votes. Sandeeep Singh: An Arjuna awardee, the Haryanvi Sikh who led the national hockey team in the 2012 Summer Olympics, is contesting from the Pehowa Assembly constituency. The ruling BJP is banking on former Indian hockey captain Sandeep Singh, once popular for his drag flicks, to knock the bottom out of the stronghold of the Indian National Lok Dal and the Congress. The BJP has never won the constituency. The Congress had won the seat five times since 1967 while the INLD has won it twice. Yogeshwar Dutt: The 36-year old Olympic bronze medalist wrestler is representing BJP from Baroda, a seat which BJP has never won. The Baroda seat has been represented either by the Congress or the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in the past. Dutt is facing Sri Kishen, the sitting MLA of the Congress party. Randeep Singh Surjewala vs Leela Ram Gujjar: The upcoming assembly election of Haryana is set to witness an intense contest in the Kaithal constituency between Randeep Singh Surjewala of Congress and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD)-turned BJP politician Leela Ram Gujjar.