Delhi-cracy: Record turnout in capital

Delhi witnessed a record voter turnout yesterday. According to Election Commission (EC) sources, 66 per cent voters exercised their franchise (at the time of going to press) in the Delhi Assembly elections. Now, the fate of 810 candidates in 70 constituencies will be declared on Sunday, December 8. In the national capital, out of 12 million citizens, 4,05,850 were first-time voters.

Just like the aam aadmi: Locals watch as Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi waited for half an hour in queue just like them to cast his vote. He chatted with the others and was all smiles before he inked his finger

Reports suggest that New Delhi constituency witnessed 74.5 per cent voter turnout, whereas RK Puram and Greater Kailash witnessed approximately 80 per cent voter turnout. The 1993 polls, the first time Delhi had assembly polls, had a turnout of 61.75 per cent, the highest record until Wednesday’s.

New neta on the block: Arvind Kejriwal, after casting his vote, said people were fed up of corruption and wanted change. Pics/AFP

In the 2008 assembly elections, a total of 57.58 per cent polling was recorded. The BJP’s prime ministerial nominee NarendraModi tweeted, “We have seen yet another successful demonstration of the strength of our democracy over the past few weeks. Congrats to the Indian voter! I congratulate Election Commission of India for spearheading a spectacular effort in conductingthe polls.”

Showing the finger! Priyanka Gandhi and husband Robert Vadra leave the  Aurangzeb Road polling booth after casting their vote. Vadra proudly showed his finger while leaving. 

However, there were some glitches too. At K Kamraj Marg polling station in New Delhi area, former president APJ Abdul Kalam had to wait for at least an hour to cast his vote due to a faulty Electronic Voting Machine (EVM).

Hoping for victory: Incumbent CM Sheila Dikshit was beaming as she arrived at Nirman Bhavan to cast her vote. She was accompanied by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and both of them alighted from a black Range Rover at the gate. They stood in queue for a few minutes to vote, but were later ushered inside the booth by security officials.

A minor scuffle occurred at the Mandir Marg polling station in New Delhi as Congress workers objected to AAP’s supporters wearing white Gandhi caps. A total of 1.19 crore voters are eligible to vote, out of which 66.11 lakh are men and 53.20 lakh are women.

Turnout of voters in Mizoram, which went to polls on November25

Age no hurdle for the aged
Senior citizens were enthusiastic voters at many places, walking to polling booths with the aid of walking sticks and some even on wheel-chairs, with relatives giving a helping hand, as they exercised their democratic rights. Rukmini Devi (74) was carried by four relatives on a plastic chair as she came to vote at the Nirman Bhavan polling station. She said she came to vote every time and has never missed any election.

Venkitachalam (85), did not allow his failing health to deter him from casting his ballot. “I am happy to have cast my vote today. I am thankful to the polling officials for being courteous and my relatives who brought me to the booth,” said Venkitachalam. It was the same in other areas of the capital. Vimla Devi (80), who was brought to the Dwaraka polling booth in a wheel-chair by her relatives, said she was very excited. “Since morning, I was very keen to cast my vote. I kept asking my sons to take me along. Seeing my enthusiasm, they couldn’t say no.”

4,05,850 Number of first time voters

1,19,36,582 Total number of voters

32,801 Number of Delhi police personnel ensuring peaceful elections

10,700 Number of central paramilitary force personnel deployed         

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