An estimated 67 per cent voters exercised their franchise in the Delhi Assembly polls today, where both Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) made an aggressive bid to power in one of the most fiercely fought battle outcome of which may have a bearing on the national political landscape.
The assembly polls, second within little over one year, has been largely a direct contest between BJP and a resurgent AAP which has put up a tough fight under Arvind Kejriwal’s leadership.
The AAP has been maintaining that a higher turnout will be beneficial for the party while BJP was also hopeful that an impressive polling will help it.
Check out on Twitter that how Delhi votes:
In 2013 assembly polls, the overall voting percentage was 66 which was an increase of around 9 per from 57.58 per cent in 2008.
The elections are significant as a defeat for BJP may bolster the opposition while a victory for the party will increase its confidence ahead of assembly polls in Bihar later this year and in West Bengal in 2016.
The BJP, which is out of power in Delhi for the last 16 years, made a no holds barred effort to win the polls. It is being billed by many as a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a description rejected by BJP.
Check out the voting trends on Twitter:
Vice President Hamid Ansari, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, party Vice President Rahul Gandhi, AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal, BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi, Union Ministers Harsh Vardhan and Maneka Gandhi, Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung, Congress’ Ajay Maken and BJP’s Varun Gandhi were among the early voters.
Priyanka Gandhi, AAP leader Manish Sisodia, Delhi’s Chief Electoral Officer Kumar, former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, DPCC chief Arvinder Singh Lovely, Delhi BJP President Satish Upadhyay also exercised their franchise in the morning hours.
Kejriwal, who led AAP’s spirited campaign, today exuded confidence of getting a clear mandate for his party as he said truth will triumph in the polls.
“I am confident that AAP will win the elections and form government in Delhi,” he told PTI after casting his vote at B K Dutt colony in his New Delhi constituency.
His BJP rival Kiran Bedi, after casting her vote at a polling station in Malviya Nagar, appealed to people to come out in large numbers and vote.
“Today is a historic day. Delhiites have to decide what kind of Delhi they want – a clean Delhi, a secure Delhi, a capable Delhi, a Delhi that respects women. Respecting women is respecting Delhi. I appeal people to come out and vote,” Bedi said.
Each vote cast in Delhi will decide whether Delhi will go towards Development or Decline,Vikas य। वीन।Sh! Take the call with responsibility
— Kiran Bedi (@thekiranbedi) February 7, 2015
Shameless incident recorded by media channels where men, women,young girls narrated how their vote was being bought by an unethical party
— Kiran Bedi (@thekiranbedi) February 7, 2015
When asked to comment on the polls, Congress President Gandhi said, “Whatever the people want will happen.”
After casting his vote, Congress’ face for Delhi polls Ajay Maken said his party will never extend or take support from AAP if such a situation arises.
“We will never ever give support to AAP again,” he said, adding, “I am very hopeful that Congress is going to do exceedingly well and we are going to form government on our own.”
Meanwhile, Kejriwal alleged that polling was very slow as only one voter was being allowed inside the polling booth at a time as against the norm of three voters.
“Polling slowed down in many places. Long queues. Its taking 2 hours in some places. Voters returning,” he said.
Even lunch breaks being taken which is against rules. EC shud immediately intervene(3/3) — Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 7, 2015
BJP candidate from Mangolpuri arrested for carrying liquor bottles in his car? Shudn’t his candidature be cancelled? — Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 7, 2015
In another tweet, he said, “As per rules, 3 voters are allowed inside a booth at a time. They are allowing only 1 voter, which has slowed down voting.” Kejriwal said even lunch breaks are being taken which is against the rules. He demanded intervention of the Election Commission. Polling began at 8 AM at over 12,000 polling stations amid tight security. 714 booths have been identified as “critical” while 191 “highly critical”.
Sources- BJP workers have given up in many places, similar to how cong workers gave up in last elections. They are completely demoralized. — Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 7, 2015
A total of 1.33 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise out of which around 1.50 lakh are first-time voters. A total of 673 candidates are in the fray in the contest.
Over 64,000 police personnel have been deployed across the city to ensure free and fair polls.
The Krishna Nagar constituency, from where Bedi is contesting, has 13 candidates.
Kejriwal is seeking re-election from the prestigious New Delhi constituency where he had defeated three-time chief minister Sheila Dikshit by over 22,000 votes last time. Congress’ Kiran Walia and BJP’s Nupur Sharma are other two prominent contenders.