Delhi Assembly elections 2020: Polling ends, turnout at 54.65% till 6pm

PTI New Delhi, India Feb 08, 2020, 04.59 PM(IST)

Elderly people after casting their vote Photograph:( PTI )

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In the 2015 assembly elections, the national capital had recorded a total voter turnout of 67.08 per cent.

Delhi recorded over 54 per cent of voter turnout in Delhi assembly polls till 6 pm on Sunday. 

42.70 per cent voter turnout was recorded till 4 pm. 

Voting percentage improved slightly to over 41 per cent by 3 pm as Delhiites queued up to cast their votes for the Assembly election on Saturday, poll officials said.

The turnout was low considering that only three hours of voting hours were left, they said.

The polling was smooth and police maintained a strict vigil in sensitive areas.

Delhi Police personnel, along with paramilitary force, conducted flag marches in sensitive areas of northeast Delhi, Shahdara and east Delhi.

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 (AAP), opposition BJP and the Congress.

Poll officials said 41.5 per cent votes were cast till 3 pm. The city recorded 14.75 per cent voter turnout in the first three hours of polling which began at 8 am. Polling is scheduled to end at 6 pm.

In the 2015 assembly elections, the national capital had recorded a voter turnout of 67.08 per cent.

Of the 11 districts, northeast recorded highest 50.75 per cent of voting, while New Delhi recorded 40.63 per cent, the lowest.

There were long queues outside some polling booths in areas dominated by minorities such as Jaffrabad, Shaheen Bagh, Seelampur and Jamia Nagar.

Asked why was the voting percentage low in the morning, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said it usually picks up as the day progresses.
There were some complaints related to VVPAT slips.

Congress's New Delhi candidate Romesh Sabharwal said VVAPT slips did not 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.

"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 also been deployed in sensitive areas," said Joint Commissioner of Police (Eastern Range) Alok Kumar.

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 also 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. Before leaving for voting, he sought his parents blessings.

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 J P 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.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's son Rehan and Kejriwal's son Pulkit were among first-time voters.

Pulkit said he felt good after voting for the first time.

He said whoever people choose will become the chief minister of Delhi when asked if his father will be the CM again.

Talking to reporters, Rehan said the public transport should be more affordable for students.

Taking a swipe at those protesting against CAA-NRC, senior RSS functionary Ram Lal said those shouting "kagaz nahin dikhayenge" would be defeated in the Delhi assembly election as he appealed to people to show documents while voting.

He asked voters to keep in mind who can make Delhi the best capital city in the world.

Hundreds of people, protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in many areas across the country, often raise the slogan of "kagaz nahi dikhayenge" (we will not show show documents.

"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.

Responding to AAP supremo and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's allegation that no one in the BJP was worthy of becoming the CM, senior BJP leader Shyam Jaju, "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 that vote is being cast on the development plank, asserting that the Shaheen Bagh issue has no impact in the Delhi assembly elections.