Union minister Harsh Vardhan flashed his inked right-hand ring finger after casting his vote in the MCD polls, except, it was not on the ‘right’ hand on which it should have been put. As per the notification issued by the Delhi State Election Commission earlier this month, the ink was to be daubed on the left-hand ring finger. “I was unaware of this direction from the state election commission. I, my wife and my mother got inked on a finger in our right hands,” Vardhan said today.
The Vardhan family’s photograph, taken yesterday outside the polling booth after they had exercised their franchise, initially appeared as a casual photo-op, until the “wrongly inked” finger was noticed.
The move to have the left ring finger inked, was necessitated in the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) polls and the Rajouri Garden Assembly bypoll in the national capital which preceded the MCD elections.
Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken also obliged to photographers’ request and had flashed his two fingers, both inked. He had voted in the Rajouri Garden bypolls as well.
Shikha, a resident of Dilshad Garden, said after casting her vote yesterday, she extended her right hand, when the poll staff asked her to put out the left one.
“I had no idea about this rule. When he asked me to extend my left hand, I put out my forefinger. But, then he put the ink on my ring finger. I was amused and confused. Later, someone told me about the changed norm,” she said.
Singer Shubha Mudgal was among those who expressed surprise at the move.
“Don’t remember this finger being inked earlier but that’s how it was done today in MCD Election 2017,” she had tweeted yesterday.
Shadiq, 29, who voted in the Chandni Chowk ward under the eponymous Assembly constituency yesterday, said he asked the staff if the rules had been changed.
The change was effected by a notification stating that a voter’s left ring finger and not the forefinger was to be inked.
The move was necessitated by the back-to-back Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) polls and Rajouri Garden Assembly bypoll in the city which preceded the MCD elections.
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The Commission had earlier issued directions to returning officers of Ward 5S to Ward 8S falling in the Rajouri Garden Assembly Constituency to ink voters’ left middle fingers.
“However, the Election Commission approved putting indelible mark on the left middle finger of the electors of Rajouri Garden for the bye-election held on April 9,” the State Election Commission said.
“It is hereby ordered that the indelible mark be made on the left ring finger of electors in all the three municipal corporations of Delhi during the MCD elections to be held on April 23,” it said in a recent order.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his family, his deputy Manish Sisodia and Union minister Vijay Goel had also obliged photographers by flashing their inked left ring fingers yesterday. They had the ink in the right place.
As many as 71,39,994 votes were polled in the contest yesterday that had the BJP, the Congress and the AAP engaged in a fierce battle. The municipal polls saw a voter turnout of 53.58 per cent that surpassed the 2012 figure of 53.43 per cent.
The erstwhile unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi was trifurcated in 2012 into North, South and East Municipal Corporation or NDMC, SDMC and EDMC respectively.
The BJP has been ruling the MCD since 2007. The last polls were held in 2012.