Lok Sabha polls: Delhi registers over 58 per cent turnout, highest in North East Delhi seat

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 26-05-2024 05:27 IST | Created: 25-05-2024 23:49 IST
Lok Sabha polls: Delhi registers over 58 per cent turnout, highest in North East Delhi seat
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The direct contest between the BJP and AAP-Congress alliance for the seven Lok Sabha constituencies in Delhi witnessed a turnout of over 58 per cent on Saturday in the midst of the scorching summer heat.

Delhi had recorded 60.52 per cent voting in the 2019 general election when the BJP had swept all the seats, routing both AAP and Congress - which have now joined hands to end the saffron party's dominance.

''Despite the intense heat, 58.70 per cent (tentative) voter turnout was recorded,'' the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) said in a statement on Saturday night.

According to the EC voter turnout app at 11.30 pm, the highest polling percentage of 62.87 per cent was recorded in North East Delhi where sitting BJP MP Manoj Tiwari is pitted against Kanhaiya Kumar of Congress.

The lowest turnout of 52.93 per cent was recorded in the New Delhi seat from where BJP's Bansuri Swaraj was contesting against INDIA bloc constituent AAP's Somnath Bharti.

Chandni Chowk seat recorded 58.06 per cent polling, East Delhi 57.83 per cent, West Delhi 58.28 per cent, North West Delhi 56.75 per cent and South Delhi 55.15 per cent.

INDIA bloc partners AAP and the Congress are contesting in alliance for the first time in Delhi under a four-three seat-share formula.

President Droupadi Murmu, Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar, Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Chief Election Commissioner of India Rajiv Kumar were among those who exercised their voting right in the national capital.

''I have fulfilled my duty as a citizen of the country. I have already said this is the biggest duty of a citizen,'' said the CJI after casting his vote at a polling booth in Lions Vidya Mandir Secondary School in the New Delhi constituency.

Union ministers S Jaishankar and Hardeep Singh Puri, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were among those who cast their votes.

Poll officials said there were no reports of technical snags or delays in the commencement of voting at any polling station.

However, CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat alleged she had to wait for almost an hour to cast her vote as the battery of the EVM control unit at her polling booth at St Columba's School in the New Delhi constituency ''drained out''.

''We came to vote, they are saying that the machine's battery is down. If the machine's battery is down early in the morning, imagine what is the condition of the Election Commission,'' Karat said.

Responding to Karat's allegation, the District Election Officer, New Delhi, said in a post on X that the battery of the control unit had drained out around 10 am and it was replaced within 15 minutes.

Delhi ministers Atishi and Saurabh Bharadwaj also complained about alleged irregularities. Atishi, in a post citing the polling stations at Janakpuri and Kalkaji, claimed irregularities by presiding officers and questioned whether there was a ''plan to manipulate'' voting numbers.

An official at the Delhi CEO's office said poll personnel were directed to look into the complaint.

Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal, who cast his vote in Chandni Chowk parliamentary constituency along with his wife Sunita Kejriwal, father and two children, said he voted against ''dictatorship, inflation and unemployment''.

''I understand people in large numbers are voting against dictatorship, inflation and unemployment because they are highly troubled,'' he said.

The queues of voters lengthened before the close of voting at 6 pm, as more people came out of their homes after the intense summer heat subsided a little bit.

A yellow alert had been sounded by the weather department warning about high day temperatures on Saturday. The maximum temperature was 43.4 degrees Celsius on the day, said an IMD official.

Arrangements like shaded areas, paramedical staff, availability of drinking water and juices, ambulances were made by the poll body in view of the hot weather.

Jaishankar, the first voter at Atal Adarsh Vidyalaya, APJ Abdul Kalam Lane, in the New Delhi constituency, told PTI Videos, ''We want the people to come out in large numbers to vote because it is a time to take a big decision for the country.'' Visuals from the polling booths showed people of all ages flocking to the centres. Some good samaritans also came forward to assist, serving voters with tea and snacks, handing out chilled water bottles to polling officials and electors and holding mobile phones while people went inside the polling booths to cast their votes.

Ashok Randhawa, the president of Sarojini Nagar Market Traders' Association, was seen distributing water bottles outside a polling booth in Nirman Bhawan.

Excited first-time voters in Delhi flaunted their inked fingers and many of them said that employment opportunities in the government sector and changes in the country's education system were on their mind.

Over 2.52 lakh first-time voters cast their maiden votes in the elections in the city.

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, her husband Robert Vadra along with their son Raihan and daughter Miraya, too cast their votes at a polling station on Lodhi Road in New Delhi constituency.

Miraya Vadra, a first-time voter, said, ''My only message to the youth is to come out and vote. It is our job to make a change, so we need to come out and do it.''' ''It's hot but we get this chance every five years to directly effect a change and participate in democracy. So, everyone should come out and vote,'' Raihan Vadra said.

Officials said Chief Electoral Officer of Delhi P Krishnamurthy supervised the operations with live monitoring of 2,891 sensitive polling stations through webcasting.

''The Delhi CEO Headquarters had setup a control room to continuously monitor webcasts from sensitive stations, ensuring real-time monitoring and immediate response to any issues,'' the CEO office said.

After the end of the polling, the Aam Aadmi Party claimed that the INDIA bloc would sweep all seven seats in Delhi despite ''all tricks'' adopted by the BJP's Lieutenant Governor by ''misusing police'' to favour the BJP on election day.

''The last blow was arresting the sitting chief minister who has significantly transformed their lives by improving education, health, electricity, water, least inflation and providing free bus rides for women. This arrest has enraged Delhiites and the people of Delhi have spoken in favour of guarantees and against the Brashtachari Jumla Party,'' the party said in a statement.

Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva said that voters have expressed confidence in Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his development works and the party is going to again win all seven seats.

A total of 1.52 crore voters - 82 lakh men, 69 lakh women and 1,228 from the third gender category - were eligible to cast their votes at more than 13,000 polling booths across the seven constituencies, officials said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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