New Delhi, Feb 10 : Counting of votes for the Delhi Assembly elections, in which 672 candidates are in fray, will begin at 0800 hrs on Tuesday and the results are expected to be declared late in the evening. Tight security arrangements have been put in place across the city on ground, water and air by the Delhi Police to ensure safe and sound counting. To form the government, parties will have to touch the magical number of 36 in the 70-member Assembly.
The polling concluded peacefully on February 8 with a total voter turnout of 62.59 per cent, that was declared on the second day. In the 2015 Delhi Assembly elections, the voter turnout was recorded at 67.12 per cent where AAP registered a landslide victory by winning 67 of 70 seats, while the Bharatiya Janata Party was limited to three seats. Indian National Congress had drawn a blank for first time in national capital elections at that time.
Soon after the commencement of polling, exit polls by various television channels indicated that the ruling Aam Aadmi Party is set to retain power in Delhi for the third consecutive term and that too with a sweeping majority. Campaigning in these high octane elections witnessed mudslinging by all the parties, that, at times turned volatile and divisive, and brought in focus, issue's like Shaheen Bagh's anti-CAA protest and violence in universities.
The electioneering saw ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) riding on its strong lower-middle class vote bank and promise of continuing the freebies in water and power supply, Congress vowing to bring back Sheila Dixit's era of infrastructure development and BJP branding nationalism and strong Centre-State relations. The campaign which initially began on key issues of development and education, later shifted to Shaheen Bagh anti-CAA protests with the BJP cornering the Congress and the AAP for supporting the agitation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the star campaigner of the BJP as he addressed two well-attended rallies in the city in a bid to boost his party's electoral chances. Union Home Minister Amit Shah batted on the frontfoot for the BJP as he undertook door-todoor campaigning in several parts of the Capital as well as visited at least three dozen assembly segments. Stakes are high even for the century old party -- Congress -- as they were unable to win even a single seat in last assembly polls.
Election Commission, today, said that the results will be displayed on the website of the Election Commission of India and will be updated every few minutes to display the current round wise results of each constituency. The results will also available from the 'Voter helpline' Mobile app available at Google Play Store and Apple App Store, the poll body said.
The police has laid special emphasis for security over the sensitive stir hit zones that have been witnessing protests and unrest here , while monitoring of many areas will also be carried using drones. River patrolling using patrol boats is also being done at the points where there is a possibility of intrusion as the city shares borders with other states along the Yamuna river.
Around 40,000 personnel have been deployed on specific election duties from the Delhi Police besides 190 companies of the CAPFs. All necessary measures have also been taken from the antiterror angle in vulnerable areas, the police said. (UNI)