Delhi polls: EC announces final turnout figure as 62.59 pc, says ensuring accuracy after AAP questions delay

New Delhi, Feb 9 (PTI) Nearly 24 hours after the polling ended in Delhi, the Election Commission on Sunday announced that the final voter turnout was 62.59 per cent, five per cent less than 2015, and asserted that it followed the laid down process to compile data, after the Aam Aadmi Party questioned the 'delay'.

There were 13,780 polling booths where every vote is accounted for by the presiding officers which is a time-consuming exercise, Sandeep Saxena, Senior Deputy Election Commissioner, said.

After elections to the 70-member Delhi Assembly were held on Saturday, poll officials had said there was a turnout of 61.46 per cent, subject to revision.

With no final word from the EC till 4 pm on Sunday, AAP chief and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal took to Twitter saying it was 'absolutely shocking' that the poll panel was not coming out with the final voting figures.

'What is EC doing? Why are they not releasing poll turnout figures, several hours after polling?' Kejriwal tweeted.

At a press conference held at 7.15 pm on Sunday, Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh said the final voter turnout was 62.59 per cent.

In the 2015 Assembly polls, Delhi had recorded a voter turnout of 67.47 per cent.

Singh said there was no unusual delay in announcing the final voter turnout as the returning officers were busy with scrutiny of data to ensure its accuracy.

'They did not want to speculate and wanted to give exact figures.... So, returning officers worked throughout the night to check data to ensure it is accurate,' he said, while asserting that the delay was not unusual and the compilation was done in good time.

'This is not about early or delay. This is a laid down process,' Saxena said.

'We wanted to come out with accurate figure rather than speculating. This is not uncommon and we are not late,' he said.

While the female voter turnout was 62.55 per cent, male voter turnout was 62.62 per cent.

The highest voting of 71.6 per cent was reported from Ballimaran constituency, while the lowest turnout was in Delhi cantonment at 45.4 per cent, Singh said.

Okhla assembly constituency recorded 58.84 per cent voting. Shaheen Bagh and Jamia Nagar, where protests against the amended Citizenship Act are on, fall under this constituency.

Seelampur constituency recorded a turnout of 71.2 per cent, according to the data.

Exit polls on Saturday predicted an easy win for the AAP against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress.

The Aam Aadmi Party said the delay in announcing of final polling figures was suspicious and asked if the poll panel was waiting for BJP office's nod.

'BJP leaders are giving the voter turnout figures and on the other hand the Election Commission has not been able to give the final voting percentage 24 hours after polling got over,' Kejriwal's deputy and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia asked AAP leader Sanjay Singh alleged at a press conference that 'something is cooking' and 'a game is being played secretely'.

'This is perhaps the first time in the 70-year history of country that the Election Commission is not ready to release the final figure of voter turnout. The entire country and Delhi have been waiting for the polling percentage since yesterday,' he said.

Counting of votes is on Tuesday. PTI BUN KND JTR RT