Malfuntioning EVMs mars voting in pockets
After an early morning rush, many polling booths were quiet throughout Sunday in East Delhi Municipal Corporation; voter turnout peaked near the day's end, touching 50 percent.
By 3 pm, nearly 50 percent voters turned out. With the scorching sun beginning to set, a few more voters came out.
In Vishwas Nagar, of a total 2,304 registered voters at polling booths 25 and 26, only around 400 showed up till 1 pm. 490 out of 980 voters came to polling booth 30, of ward 58-E, Mustafabad.
A resident of Karawal Nagar and a medical professional, Tripti Gautam reached the polling booth armed with her voter ID card, only to find her name missing from the voters' list. "My sister was very enthusiastic to cast her vote for the first time in the MCD polls, but her name and photo were missing from the voter list," her elder sister said.
The Election Commission had expected around 70 percent turnout this time. In 2012 MCD elections, the turnout was 55 percent, the highest in 15 years.
Meanwhile, Electronic Voting machines (EVM) were reportedly not working properly at Patparganj and Mustafabad for a while. Some voters created a ruckus outside the polling station in Patparganj. "Another EVM at polling station 30 of ward 58-E was not working properly for some time," said Samshad Saifi, a Mustafabad-based businessman.
Officials in Patparganj denied the allegations and said nothing happened, while those Mustafabad said there were glitches.
In Krishna Nagar, Anarkali (ward no 22-E), voter turnout was around 30 percent. Later in the day, heatwave-like condition brought voting to an end altogether.
Deputy Cheif Minister Manish Sisodia and Water minister Kapil Mishra were among the early voters seen in EDMC areas. Leaders of various political parties including the AAP, BJP and the Congress, were seen casting their votes early in the afternoon.
Meanwhile, polling at Maujpur ward had been postponed following the death of a candidate contesting the election from Samajwadi Party.
The poll for this ward has been rescheduled on May 14.
Delhi Police had declared 674 sensitive and hypersensitive booths in 64 EDMC wards. Interestingly, in addition to the poor voting trends, independent candidates across the 64 wards in the jurisdiction of EDMC were seen contesting on symbols such as school bag, batsman, matchbox, blackboard, glass tumbler, air-conditioner, envelope and auto-rickshaws.
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