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Delhi has an electorate of 1.33 crore voters who are voting for a second time in less than a year to elect a state government. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint
Delhi has an electorate of 1.33 crore voters who are voting for a second time in less than a year to elect a state government. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

Record 67.08% voter turnout in Delhi polls

Delhi assembly election is being seen as a close contest between BJP and AAP

New Delhi: Delhi saw a record voter turnout at 67.08% in the polling for state assembly elections on Saturday. More than 8.9 million voters came out to vote in the capital state which has been in suspended animation for nearly an year.

Turnout in the December 2013 assembly elections was 65.63% and in the general elections last year was 65.01%.

“The whole election went peacefully and we had no difficulty in terms of any issue. Wherever intervention was required, it was done with the help of mobilizing our team," Chandra Bhushan Kumar, chief electoral officer of Delhi, told reporters while announcing the total turnout.

In terms of district-wise turnout, north-east Delhi had the highest turnout at 69.87% while New Delhi district had the lowest at 64.01%.

No major incidents of violence were reported. The scrutiny from all polling booths will happen on Sunday. The counting will take place on Tuesday from 8am across 14 different centres in Delhi.

The assembly elections, second within little over one year, has been largely a direct contest between the BJP and the 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.

The elections are significant as a defeat for the BJP may bolster the opposition while a victory for the party will increase its confidence ahead of assembly elections in Bihar later this year and in West Bengal in 2016.

The BJP, which has been out of power in Delhi for 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 the BJP.

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 lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung, Congress’s 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, Congress leader Arvinder Singh Lovely, Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay also exercised their franchise in the morning hours.

Kejriwal, who led the AAP’s spirited campaign, on Saturday 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.

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