Delhi Assembly Polls: Delhi Records 57% Voter Turnout Till 6 P.M.
Delhi recorded a voter turnout of 57.06 percent till 6 p.m. even as polling at some booths was underway.
The figure is likely to rise, said Delhi's Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh. Polling officially ends at 6 p.m. But voters who enter polling stations till 6 p.m are allowed to cast their vote.
Singh said there were long queues at many polling booths.
Over 1.47 crore people are eligible to exercise their franchise in the polls that will decide the fate of 672 candidates in 70 Assembly constituencies, which are seeing a triangular contest among the ruling Aam Aadmi Party, opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress.
In the 2015 assembly elections, the national capital had recorded a voter turnout of 67.08 percent.
There, however, were some complaints related to voter-verified paper audit trail slips. Congress’ New Delhi candidate Romesh Sabharwal said VVPAT slips didn’t show his name and photo. “I gave a written complaint to poll authorities after which the machine was replaced,” Sabharwal said, adding that polling was halted for sometime.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Eastern Range) Alok Kumar, said, “Senior officers, along with forces, have been conducting flag marches in sensitive areas. Motorcycle patrolling are also being done. Besides, PCR and quick response teams have been deployed in sensitive areas.”
Big Names Cast Their Votes
President Ram Nath Kovind, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, West Delhi MP Parvesh Verma and Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari exercised their franchise. Union Ministers S Jaishankar, Hardeep Singh Puri were also among those who cast their votes.
Chief Minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal voted at the Rajpur Transport Authority polling station in the Civil Lines area. Kejriwal, who is contesting the polls from the New Delhi constituency, was accompanied by his wife Sunita and son Pulkit, who’s a first-time voter. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s son Rehan, too, was among first-time voters.
Former Vice-President Hamid Ansari and senior RSS functionary Ram Lal were among those who queued up outside the Nirman Bhavan polling station in the first hour of voting.
Minutes before polling began, Kejriwal tweeted, “Please go to cast vote. A special appeal to all the women — as you shoulder the responsibility at home, likewise, the responsibility of the country and Delhi is on your shoulders.”
Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who led a very aggressive campaign and covered 60 assembly seats, appealed to voters to “free” the national capital from lies and vote-bank politics.
“By giving Delhi clean air, clean drinking water and every poor house, only the best capital of the world can make it a government with far-sighted thinking and strong intentions. I appeal to the people of Delhi to vote to free Delhi from lies and vote bank politics,” Shah tweeted.
BJP president JP Nadda also appealed to all the voters to vote in large numbers. “Each vote of you is important for the unity and integrity of the country and holistic development of Delhi. Your vote only will be script the golden future of Delhi. ‘Pehle Matdan, Phir Jalpan’. Jai Hind,” Nadda tweeted.
Taking a swipe at those protesting against Citizenship Amendment Act-National Register of Citizens, senior RSS functionary Ram Lal said those shouting “kagaz nahin dikhayenge” (we will not show show documents) would be defeated in the Delhi Assembly election as he appealed to people to show documents while voting.
“My message to the voters is ‘aaj apna kagaz jaroor lekar jayen. Kagaz jaroor dikhayen’ (Today, take your document along with you and show your document),” Lal said. He also asked voters to keep in mind who can make Delhi the best capital city in the world.
Responding to AAP supremo and Chief Minister Kejriwal’s allegation that no one in the BJP was worthy of becoming the CM, senior BJP leader Shyam Jaju, said, “We have no dearth of chief ministerial candidates. We will declare our CM face at the right time.”
AAP candidate from Chandni Chowk Prahalad Sahni said vote was being cast on the development plank, asserting that the Shaheen Bagh issue has no impact in the Delhi Assembly elections.