Elections 2019: Voting begins late in some booths in Delhi

Published: May 12, 2019, 10:24 IST | mid-day online desk

Over 1.43 crore people in Delhi are eligible to vote in this election which will decide the fate of 164 candidates, of which 18 are women

Elections 2019: Voting begins late in some booths in Delhi
Pic courtesy/Twitter/ANI

New Delhi: Voting, that was scheduled to start at 7 am, began late at some booths in the national capital on Sunday. Delhi Home Minister Satyendar Jain said that voting started 50 minutes late at three polling booths. "Voting started at 7.50 am at 3 booths of Railway Jhuggi, Shakurbasti," he tweeted.

However, there was no immediate response from the Chief Electoral Office. Shashi Devi, a 58-year-old resident of Mayur Vihar I, said that she and her son were made to wait for 20 minutes by officials at a polling booth. "My son and I came to cast our votes to avoid the heat, but after reaching the polling booth at 7 am, we were asked to wait for 20 minutes as officials were still in the process of starting polling," Devi said. Another voter, Rahul Sharma, had to wait to for half an hour outside the polling booth of his area to cast his vote. Among the early voters in the national capital were former chief minister Sheila Dikshit, Congress's New Delhi candidate Ajay Maken, Union minister Harsh Vardhan, BJP's East Delhi candidate Gautam Gambhir, and BJP national general secretary (organisation) Ram Lal.

Over 1.43 crore people in Delhi are eligible to vote in this election which will decide the fate of 164 candidates, of which 18 are women. There are 43 independent candidates. While 2,54,723 voters are in the age group of 18 and 19, there are 40,532 electorate with disability who would be provided pick up and drop facility.

Polling began Sunday morning for 59 Lok Sabha seats in the sixth and penultimate phase of Lok Sabha polls with Union ministers Radha Mohan Singh, Harsh Vardhan and Maneka Gandhi, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and Congress leaders Digvijay Singh and Jyotiraditya Scindia among several prominent faces in the fray. Elections are being held in 14 seats in Uttar Pradesh, 10 seats in Haryana, eights constituencies each in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal, seven seats in Delhi and four in Jharkhand.

Over 10.17 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise to decide the fate of 979 candidates. The Election Commission has set up over 1.13 lakh polling stations for smooth conduct of the polls. The elections in this phase are seen as a big test for the BJP which had won 45 of these seats in 2014, with the Trinamool Congress bagging 8, the Congress two and the Samajwadi Party and the LJP one seat each among others. Prominent candidates in the fray in Delhi include veteran Congress leader Sheila Dikshit, Olympian boxer Vijender Singh, Union minister Harsh Vardhan, Atishi from AAP and her BJP rival cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir. The Bhopal seat in Madhya Pradesh is witnessing an interesting contest between senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh and BJP nominee Pragya Singh Thakur.

Guna will seal the fate of Congress general secretary Scindia. Union minister and BJP nominee Narendra Singh Tomar is in the fray from Morena.
In Uttar Pradesh, the BJP is up against the SP-BSP-RLD coalition and the Congress. The BJP had won 13 of the 14 constituencies in 2014, the only exception being Azamgarh, won then by SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav. However, the BJP had to face defeat in the bypolls in Phulpur and Gorakhpur constituencies last year. While, the anti-BJP alliance would like to retain its grip over both the seats, the saffron party is looking to wrest them from the opposition. Their importance can be gauged from the fact that Gorakhpur was represented by Yogi Adityanath in Lok Sabha from 1998 to 2017, before he became the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.

Similarly, Phulpur was won for the first time by the BJP in 2014, when Keshav Prasad Maurya emerged victorious from the seat once represented by Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister. Maurya vacated the seat after he became the deputy chief minister of the state in 2017. In Azamgarh this time, Akhilesh is trying to retain his father's seat against Bhojpuri film star Dinesh Lal Yadav 'Nirahua' of the BJP. Sultanpur too is seeing an interesting contest as the BJP has fielded Union minister Maneka Gandhi for the seat won by her son Varun in 2014. The ruling Trinamool Congress, the BJP, the Congress and the Left Front constituents - the CPI(M), the CPI and the AIFB - are the main contenders in West Bengal. In this phase, polling is being held in Jangal Mahal - the forested region of Bankura, West Midnapore, Jhargram and Purulia districts, which used to be a Maoist hotbed, during the erstwhile Left Front government. Union ministers Rao Inderjit Singh and Krishan Pal Gurjar are among the 223 candidates in fray in Haryana.

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Edited by mid-day online desk with inputs from Agencies

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