The polling for the 70-member Delhi Assembly is underway since 8 am today to elect a new government. The voting ends at 6 pm. The polling picked up the pace by noon with a 17.26 % voter turnout till 1 pm.
Over 1.47 crore eligible voters(81,05,236 are male, 66,80,277 female and 869 transgender) are expected to exercise their franchise to decide the fate of 672 candidates which has seen a triangular contest among the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), opposition BJP and the Congress.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to the microblogging site Twitter and urged the people to come out in large numbers and vote.
While AAP is contesting all the 70 seats without forging any alliance, the Congress has fielded 68 candidates and left two seats for its ally– Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal. BJP is contesting from 67 seats and left the other seats for its ally Janata Dal (United) and Lok Janshakti Party.
The incumbent AAP is expecting to retain their power and repeat its 2015 stellar performance when it won 67 of the 70 Assembly seats. The BJP is eyeing on the high profile seat following months of anti-government unrest over a series of issues.
While senior BJP leader LK Advani and his daughter Pratibha Advani cast their vote at a polling booth on Aurangzeb lane. Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra and his wife Neelu Chandra cast their vote at polling booth number 99 in New Moti Bagh. Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora was also spotted casting his vote at Nirman Bhawan.
Kejriwal, who is eyeing to repeat his party’s 2015 assembly performance, voted at the Rajpura Transport Authority polling station in the Civil Lines area.
AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal is contesting from the New Delhi against BJP’s Sunil Yadav and Congress’s Romesh Sabharwal.
To conduct a peaceful voting 60,000 security personnel are deployed on election duty in the polling booths today including Delhi police, Delhi Home Guards and the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF).
Around 200 polling booths have been categorised as ‘critical’, and 90 ‘vulnerable and prone to violence’ in North Delhi’s Okhla area.
The social media posts will be under scanner on polling day to prevent any untoward incident to prevent the spreading of false information.
Special arrangements are also made for sensitive zones by deploying drones with cameras along with the installation of high-resolution Automated Facial Recognition System (AFRS) for identification of potential trouble-makers.
Jt CP Eastern Range Alok Kumar said that in order to conduct smooth conduct of polls round the clock patrolling is underway. He said that the police and paramilitary force personnel held a flag march in Brij Puri and PCR and QRTs are deployed at sensitive areas.
The key contestants:
AAP: Arvind Kejriwal BJP: Sunil Yadav Congress: Romesh Sabharwal
AAP: Vinay Kumar Mishra BJP: Praduman Rajput Congress: Adarsh Shastri
AAP: Naresh Balyan BJP: Krishan Gehlot RJD: Shakti Kumar Bishnoi
AAP: Kailash Gahlot BJP: Ajit Kharkhari Congress: Sahib Singh Yadav
AAP: Gulab Singh Yadav BJP: Rajesh Gehlot Congress: Sumesh Shokeen
AAP: BS Joon BJP: Satyaprakash Rana Congress: Parveen Rana
AAP: Virender Singh Kadian BJP: Manish Singh Congress: Sandeep Tanwar
AAP: Bhavna Gaur BJP: Vijay Pandit Congress: Niram Kumar Singh (RJD)
AAP: Praveen Kumar BJP: Impreet Singh Bakshi Congress: Talvinder Singh Marwah
AAP: Raghav Chadha BJP: RP Singh Congress: Rocky Tuseed
Photo Credit: SpokespersonECI