Millennium Post

Delhi's fate sealed, wait begins

Higher turnout after early jitters

New Delhi: As the national Capital woke up to polling day on Saturday after an exhaustive, polarising and increasingly violent campaign period, voters of Delhi were slow to hit the polling stations and get their fingers inked as Election Commission of India data showed around 5.05 per cent turnout in the first hour of voting. However, as the day progressed and the sun came out, more voters lined up to exercise their democratic right, with the latest ECI data showing 61.67 per cent of registered voters casting their votes.

Despite the considerably low voter turnout compared to the 2015 elections here, the highest turnout was recorded in North East district, where 67.83 per cent of registered voters made their choice for the next Delhi government. In this area, two of the highest turnout assembly segments were seen in Seelampur, where turnout was at 71.4 per cent and Mustafabad, where turnout was at 70.55 per cent. These were the only two assembly constituencies which saw a turnout of over 70 per cent.

Interestingly, these seats had seen spurts of violence and clashes between law enforcement authorities and anti-CAA/NRC protesters in the days leading up to the election campaign with senior politicians often using them to polarise their respective campaigns. Despite the low turnout across Delhi, these seats recorded one of the highest voter turnout percentages.

However, what is noteworthy is that the voter numbers for this election are still lower than the 2015 assembly polls in the Capital. In the last election, Seelampur and Matia Mahal saw a voter turnout of over 70 per cent whereas Mustafabad had recorded a turnout of 69.3 per cent. Interestingly, in 2015, BJP had won Mustafabad - one of the three seats they had managed to eke out a victory in.

However, on the other hand, New Delhi district, which also houses Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's New Delhi constituency saw the lowest voter turnout at 57.11 per cent. In this area, Delhi Cantonment assembly segment saw the lowest turnout of 45.42 per cent, which is also the lowest turnout among all 70 constituencies of the Capital. New Delhi assembly segment saw a turnout of 51.64 per cent.

Meanwhile, the North West district saw a turnout of 62.23 per cent, South Delhi recorded a turnout of 60.50 per cent, Central distrct saw around 61.14 per cent voters choosing to vote, South West district saw a turnout of 61.57 per cent, East district saw a turnout of 62.22 per ent, West district a turnout of 61.79 per cent, North district witnessed a 61.01 per cent turnout, Shahdara saw 64.18 per cent showing up to vote and South East district saw 59.08 per cent turnout, the second least among all districts.

While most exit polls predicted a comfortable return for an Aam Aadmi Party government leaving room for the BJP to gain ground as compared to its 2015 performance, an aggregate of five exit polls published on Saturday show that the AAP is set to sweep the elections with a projected victory in 56 out of 70 seats. While this a decrease from the last time, it still puts the party in more than just a comfortable position to form the government in Delhi once again.

However, the poll of exit polls projected a better performance for the saffron party this time around, with the BJP looking to be winning in 14 seats, leaving absolutely no room for the grand old party to make a comeback in the Capital, which was once a stronghold for the Congress, under the leadership of former state party chief Sheila Dikshit.

Interestingly, the India Today-Axis Exit poll, which has been very accurate for the last few elections, gives AAP a massive 59-68 seats. It is a complete sweep for the AAP, if one goes by this exit poll. It gives the BJP anything between two to 11 seats and predicts zero for the Congress. Meanwhile, the Times Now-IPSOS Exit Poll shows that the BJP gave a tough fight and is likely to get 23 seats. However, as per it, the AAP seems to be safe with 47 seats. The Congress still gets a duck, according to this poll.

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