A record 67.08 per cent turnout was registered today in the fiercely fought Delhi assembly polls where Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are locked in a blockbuster fight, outcome of which may have ramifications on the national political scenario.
The voter turnout is 1.22 per cent higher than 65.86 per cent polling in 2013 Assembly polls. The polling percentage was 65.07 in the Lok Sabha polls in April, 2014.
“We are happy to announce this election has been unprecedented in terms of voter turn out as poll percentage has crossed 67.08. The percentage is is expected go a little further,” Chandra Bhushan Kumar, Delhi’s Chief Electoral Officer, said.
The assembly election, held for the second time in 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.
All the exit polls have predicted a majority for the AAP with one of them giving it as high as 53 seats in the 70-member House.
The elections are being considered significant as a victory for BJP will increase its confidence ahead of assembly polls in Bihar later this year and in West Bengal in 2016 while a defeat may bolster the opposition.
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.
Kumar said the elections have been largely peaceful and that there was no major glitch in Electronic Voting Machines.
He said 21 EVMs had to replaced and there were no arrests.
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.
His BJP rival Kiran Bedi rejected the exit poll results carried out by various news channels even as she spoke of taking “full responsibility” if her party suffers a loss.
Addressing a press conference, a visibly exhausted Bedi also thanked BJP for reposing “faith” in her wondering what the party “saw in her”.
“I am sure the results would change if the surveys take into account voting post 3 PM. They are incomplete as the turn out from 3 PM to 6 PM has not been included. Then the verdict may go in BJP’s favour,” she said.