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Delhi records 60.21% turnout

Fate of 164 candidates including Sheila Dikshit, Manoj Tiwari sealed in EVMs

NEW DELHI: Amid reports of EVM glitches, the national capital recorded a voter turnout of around 60.21 per cent in the seven Lok Sabha seats, five percentage points down from the 2014 Lok Sabha election, the Delhi chief electoral officer said on Sunday.

The turnout was not as per the poll body's expectations considering the number of campaigns it had undertaken to draw the voters to the polling booth, Delhi Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh said.

Voting recorded till 6 pm was 60.21 per cent and the figure may slightly go up as polling continued at several places way beyond the deadline. Polling also started late on some booths while there were reports of EVM malfunctioning in different parts of the city.

The voting percentage for the rest of the five seats was: East Delhi (61.91 per cent), Northwest Delhi (63.45 per cent), West Delhi (60.64 per cent), South Delhi 57.3 per cent) and Chandni Chowk (62.69 per cent).

"In 2014, it was around 65 per cent, but this time it might turn out to be around 61 per cent, which is a disappointment," Singh said.

With this fate of 164 candidates of various political parties including former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, state BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir and boxer Vijender Singh has been sealed in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

Polling began on Sunday morning in all seven constituencies in the state in the sixth phase of Lok Sabha elections.Voting began at 7 am and is scheduled to go on till 6 pm.

Delhi Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh said 5.5% EVMs were replaced in the morning, adding that problems in EVMs were reported from Chandni Chowk and West Delhi.

"Mock polls happened in the morning and where machines were found defective, they were replaced. As much as 5.5% EVMs were replaced during morning hours and that might have caused the delay in start of polling," Singh said.

A senior police officer, posted at Nirman Bhawan polling booth, said there was a complaint about EVM malfunctioning which was replaced with another one.

"There was connection error between the control unit and ballot unit at Nirman Bhawan. That is why control unit, ballot unit and VVPAT of EVM had to be replaced," said an official of the poll body. An EVM consists of a ballot unit, a control unit and a VVPAT.

Over 1.43 crore people in Delhi were eligible to vote in this election. Out of total 164 candidates, 18 are women while there are 43 Independent candidates.

Citing allegations of "bogus" voting by the AAP's South Delhi candidate Raghav Chadha, the Delhi BJP chief said, "He is levelling the bogus voting charge as he is scared of defeat."

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