New Delhi, Feb 8 : An estimated voter turnout of 55.18 per cent was recorded till 1700 hrs of the high-octane Delhi Assembly elections which began amid tight security arrangements in all 70 constituencies at 0800 hrs on Saturday.
A total of 672 candidates are in fray. The estimated turnout in North Delhi's Narela was 61.81 per cent, Rohini 58.80 pc, Shakur Basti 37.49 pc and Model Town 55.85 per cent. In North East Delhi, Seelampur recorded 60.63 pc voter turnout and Gokalpur (SC) 61.93 pc. South Delhi's Malviya Nagar recorded 59.20 pc while Chhatarpur was at 48.8 per cent. In Eastern Delhi, Trilokpuri (SC) was 43.22 pc and Laxmi Nagar was 54.95 pc, while in Western part of national capital, 44.70 pc was recorded at Rajouri Garden and 59.12 per cent was recorded at Janakpuri.
The voter turnout, according to some experts, is being considered very important in these elections as it can change poll prospects of any candidate. Braving cold weather conditions, voters had lined-up before 0700 hrs at several polling booths across the national capital, to cast their votes. Long queues were seen outside several polling booths.
The prominent people including President Ram Nath Kovind, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Lt Governor Anil Baijal, Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi, party's general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, party leader Rahul Gandhi, former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh, former vice president Hamid Ansari and Senior BJP leader L K Advani exercised their franchise for the Assembly polls.
Congress candidate from the Chandni Chowk assembly constituency, Alka Lamba, who cast her vote at Tagore Garden Extension this morning got indulged into a scuffle with an Aam Aadmi Party worker. She tried to slap an AAP worker at a polling booth after he allegedly 'misbehaved' with her. Ms Lamba, who had left AAP, joined Congress in October in 2019. In another incident, an election officer, who was deployed at a polling booth in Babarpur Primary School in northeast Delhi, died of a 'cardiac arrest' on Saturday, election office sources told UNI.
As the voting began at 0800 hrs in morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people, especially youth, to come out and vote in record numbers. "Today is the polling day for the Delhi Legislative Assembly...Urging the people of Delhi, especially my young friends, to vote in record numbers," he said in a tweet.
The security arrangements have been stepped up across the city to thwart any untoward incident. Central Armed Police Forces have also been deployed. Senior police officials from various units have been drafted for the special poll duties.
The police laid special emphasis for security over the sensitive stir hit zones that have been witnessing protests and unrest from past two months, while monitoring of many areas is also being carried out using drones. The voting will end at 1800 hrs and the results will be announced on February 11. (UNI)