Lok Sabha polls: Delhi records 34.37 per cent turnout till 1 pm, highest in North East Delhi seat : The Tribune India

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Lok Sabha polls: Delhi records 34.37 per cent turnout till 1 pm, highest in North East Delhi seat

This is the first Lok Sabha election in Delhi in which AAP and the Congress have fielded joint candidates

Lok Sabha polls: Delhi records 34.37 per cent turnout till 1 pm, highest in North East Delhi seat

People show their identity cards as they wait in a queue to cast their votes at a polling station under East Delhi constituency during the sixth phase of Lok Sabha elections, in New Delhi, Saturday, May 25, 2024. PTI



PTI

New Delhi, May 25

A voter turnout of 34.37 per cent was recorded till 1 pm in Delhi, where polling is underway for its seven Lok Sabha constituencies on Saturday.

The office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) said that at 37.31 per cent, the highest turnout was recorded in the North East Delhi constituency while Chandni Chowk had the lowest voting percentage at 32.18.

Poll officials said there were no reports of technical snags or delays in the commencement of voting at any polling station.

However, CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat, who had gone to exercise her franchise at St Columba's School in the New Delhi constituency, alleged she had to wait for almost an hour to cast her vote as the battery of the EVM control unit at her polling booth “drained out”.

Karat later told PTI she had to wait for around 50 minutes.

“We came to vote, they are saying that the machine's battery is down. If the machine's battery is down early in the morning, imagine what is the condition of the Election Commission,” Karat said.

Responding to Karat's allegation, the District Election Officer, New Delhi, said in a post on X that the battery of the control unit had drained out around 10 am and it was replaced within 15 minutes.

Delhi ministers Atishi and Saurabh Bharadwaj also complained about irregularities.

“Worrying news coming from different parts of Delhi … In Captain Anuj Nayyar School in Janakpuri, the presiding officer tried to get the polling agents to sign the Form 17(C) in the morning itself,” Atishi claimed in a post on X.

“In Govt School No 3 Kalkaji, an election officer has just come and given directions that polling agents cannot note down any data. Is the plan to manipulate voting numbers by the @ECISVEEP?,” she asked.

An official at the Delhi CEO's office said poll personnel have been asked to check the complaints.

Union ministers S Jaishankar and Hardeep Singh Puri, AAP leader Atishi, outgoing East Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir, and candidates of different parties cast their votes early in the morning.

President Droupadi Murmu and Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar also cast their votes in the New Delhi constituency, officials said.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, in a post in Hindi on X, appealed to the people to vote and urge their family members, relatives and friends to also exercise their franchise.

“...Each vote cast by you in this great festival of democracy will be against the authoritarian mindset and strengthen democracy and the Constitution of India. Go to the polling stations and assert that there is democracy in India and democracy will remain in India through your votes,” Kejriwal said.

A 'yellow' warning is in place for the day and the Met office has predicted that the mercury is likely to reach a maximum of 44 degrees Celsius.

The Delhi poll body has said that it has made arrangements for the voters to beat the scorching heat.

People were seen queuing up outside the more than 13,000 polling booths across the seven constituencies even before voting began at 7 am.

Jaishankar, the first voter at Atal Adarsh Vidyalaya, APJ Abdul Kalam Lane, in the New Delhi constituency, told PTI Videos, “We want that people come out in large numbers to vote because it is a time to take a big decision for the country.”

Puri said it's a very good feeling to be able to reach the polling booth half an hour before the gates open and to participate in the world's largest carnival and celebration of democracy.

Atishi cast her vote at Nigam Pratibha Vidyalaya, Kalkaji B Block, in the South Delhi constituency. AAP Rajya Sabha MP Swati Maliwal also cast her vote.

Gambhir appealed for people to exercise their franchise after casting his vote at the Government Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya.

The AAP's South Delhi candidate Sahi Ram Pahalwan, the BJP's Chandni Chowk nominee Praveen Khandelwal and its New Delhi hopeful Bansuri Swaraj were also among the early voters.

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Robert Vadra's daughter Miraya Vadra, who voted for the first time, said, "I came all the way from college to vote. So, everyone should come out and vote."

"My only message to the youth is to come out and vote. It is our job to make a change, so we need to come out and do it," she said.

Her brother Raihan Vadra, a second-time voter, expressed hope that everyone will come out and vote.

The siblings cast their ballots at a polling booth at Lodhi Road under the New Delhi constituency.

"It's hot but we get this chance every five years to directly affect a change and participate in democracy. So, everyone should come out and vote," Raihan Vadra said.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) M Harsha Vardhan said the police have made good arrangements for smooth conduct of the elections.

"It is an important task for us to conduct free and fair elections. It is a matter of great pride for everyone involved in the process," he said.

"We have made good arrangements. We are seeing great enthusiasm among the officials and the voters. We look forward to a day of good voter turnout and encourage everyone to vote," he added.

A total of 1.52 crore voters -- 82 lakh men, 69 lakh women and 1,228 from the third gender category -- are eligible to cast their votes at more than 13,000 polling booths across the seven constituencies, officials said.

There are more than 2.52 lakh first-time voters this time.

The BJP won all seven seats in Delhi in the 2014 and the 2019 elections and is aiming for a clean sweep for the third consecutive time.

INDIA bloc partners AAP and the Congress are contesting the elections in Delhi under a four-three seat-share formula.

This is the first Lok Sabha election in Delhi in which AAP and the Congress have fielded joint candidates.

#Congress #Lok Sabha


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