MCD Election 2017: Polling Ends, Around 54% Votes Cast

  • Polling ends with about 54% turnout
  • Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, other leaders cast their votes early
  • Polling in Maujpur and Sarai Pipal wards were postponed
  • A total of 2,315 candidates are in the fray for 272 seats
  • Over 1.3 crore people are eligible to vote in the polls, including 1.1 lakh first-time voters

The national capital recorded a turnout of around 54 percent in the municipal polls amid complaints of faulty EVMs, with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal leading the charge. The polling passed off peacefully.

State Election Commissioner SK Srivastava said 18 electronic voting machines (EVMs) were replaced owing to battery or button related issues.

The casting of votes in the Delhi civic polls has now ended. Only 46 percent votes were cast till 4 pm, reported PTI.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted about reports of EVMs not working. In the past, Kejriwal has alleged EVMs have been tampered with to only register votes for BJP.

Voters in a few municipal wards faced problems as EVMs at some polling booths did not work properly.

Former Delhi minister and BJP leader Arvind Singh Lovely also could not cast his vote early morning as there were some problems in the EVMs at the polling booth in East Azad Nagar area.

There were also complaints of faulty EVMs in North Delhi Burari area and South West Delhi's Kapashera due to which voting had to be stopped for a few minutes.

However, responding to Kejriwal, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju said:

Voting for all the three municipal corporations started at a sluggish pace with only 1.16 percent of the total 1.33 crore voters casting their votes by 10 am across the city.

In North Delhi, 73,051 votes out of 49.55 lakh were polled with the voting percentage being 1.47. In South Delhi, out of 52,09,933, 57,330 votes were polled which was 1.1 percent of the total.

Voting was the slowest in East Delhi where out of a total of 31,60,325, only 24,759 votes were polled. The voting percentage was 0.78.

After casting her vote in the MCD polls, former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said she hopes voters of Delhi will weigh their options and cast their votes wisely.

Amit Basu from Chittaranjan Park in South DelhiVoter slips have not been given to many people and it has created a lot of confusion. I and my wife didn’t get any voter slips. Also, the party stalls have been shifted 200 metres away.

He said the police were misleading people.

We couldn’t find a way till the time some Aam Aadmi Party worker came and informed that it has been pushed 200 metres. Police in our area were unhelpful.

Polling in two MCD wards – Maujpur in East Delhi and Sarai Pipal in North Delhi – postponed due to death of two candidates, reports PTI.

Voting began at 8 am amid tight security and as of 10:30 am, 1.16 percent voting has been completed.

Congress leader Ajay Maken cast his vote at a polling booth in Rajouri Garden.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his family cast their vote this morning, at a polling booth in Road Transport Office, in Civil Lines. The Delhi CM was accompanied by his parents, wife Sunita, and daughter Harshita who cast her vote for the first time.

(Photo: PTI)

Union Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan was also spotted right after casting his vote at Krishna Nagar’s Ratan Devi School.

(Photo Courtesy: ANI screesnhot)

Voting is currently underway for Delhi’s MCD Elections.

The capital’s Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal was spotted after casting his vote in a polling station in Greater Kailash-3.

Meanwhile, Arvinder Singh Lovely, who recently joined the BJP, had to return from a polling booth in East Azad Nagar after it was discovered that the EVM was not working.

The national capital will elect its municipal councillors on Sunday, in a triangular high- octane contest, the political ramifications of which will go much beyond the city's borders.

The campaigning involving the three main players – AAP, BJP and the Congress – was intense, marked by rancour, and the verdict will reshape the political equations in the country's power capital.

It will determine whether the sway of Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP – which had stunned all by bagging 67 seats in the 2015 assembly polls – still holds, and if the Rajouri Garden defeat was due to hostile constituency dynamics.

For the BJP, holding on to power, fighting a decade-long anti-incumbency is a challenge and an opportunity to blunt Kejriwal's attempts to emerge as the principal adversary of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Congress, which has considerably increased its vote share in polls held after 2015, where it was reduced to zero, is hoping to gain its lost ground and make its presence felt, despite unabated infighting.

Also Read: MCD Elections: In Choking Delhi, Pollution a Non-Issue for Parties

Over 1.3 crore people are eligible to vote in the polls, and of them more than 1.1 lakh are first-time voters.

Out of the 13,022 polling stations, police authorities have declared 3,284 as sensitive and 1,464 as hypersensitive. For the first time in MCD elections, None Of The Above (NOTA) option will be available.

The Generation-1 Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are to be used for the MCD elections, which the Commission has described as "foolproof".

The State Election Commission is gearing up to carry out the electoral exercise that will be spread over 13,000 booths spanning 272 wards.

The total number of electorate for the civic polls stands at 1,32,10,206, which include 73,15,915 men, 58,93,418 women and 793 voters in the other category.

The erstwhile unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) was trifurcated in 2012 into North, South and East Municipal Corporations. While NDMC and SDMC have 104 wards each, EDMC has 64.

Also Read: Elections in Delhi and France Will Decide the Fate of Two Ideas

On the eve of MCD polls, the Delhi BJP on Saturday filed a police complaint against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over his comments that voting for BJP would put the lives of the city's children at risk.

In the complaint, the party alleged that Kejriwal has “violated the Model Code of Conduct by posting offending election material on his Facebook wall”, and “campaigning beyond the prescribed time through his social media handles”.

The complaint has been filed on the direction of Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari at the North Avenue police station.

Read the full story here.

Political parties may talk about clean and corruption-free politics, but all that talk is just hot air when elections are around the corner. Delhi will hold its Municipal Corporation Elections on 23 April. A total of 2,315 candidates will battle it out this election, and 173 have criminal cases lodged against them.

Of these, 116 candidates have heinous charges like rape, abduction and attempted murder levelled against them.

(Photo: The Quint)
(Photo: The Quint)

Also Read: Delhi MCD Elections: Do-or-Die Battle for Kejriwal Before 2019