Millennium Post

Stage set for Rajinder Nagar bypoll; both AAP & BJP exude confidence

Stage set for Rajinder Nagar bypoll; both AAP & BJP exude confidence

New Delhi: The stage is set for the Rajinder Nagar bypoll in Delhi on Thursday, largely being seen as a battle between a confident AAP and a spirited BJP for the crucial Assembly constituency where water shortage and the city government's liquor policy are among the key election issues.

A total of 1,64,698 voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the bypoll, in which 14 candidates are in the fray. In addition to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress candidates, there are three others from unrecognised parties and eight Independent nominees.

The campaigning for the bypoll ended on Tuesday evening. The AAP and the BJP reached out to the voters through roadshows and door-to-door campaigns and claimed victory ahead of voting on June 23.

From setting up specialised polling stations, including an all-women one, to deployment of security personnel and running awareness campaigns, the Delhi CEO office has made all preparations to ensure that the bypoll is held in an inclusive, accessible and fair manner.

Six companies of CAPF personnel have been deployed for the bypoll and 1,000 poll personnel will be on duty on Thursday, officials said.

On the eve of the bypoll, Delhi Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Ranbir Singh appealed to the voters to cast their votes on polling day. He also urged them to set an example before the country by "registering the highest-ever voter turnout in the constituency".

In the 2020 polls, the voter turnout in Rajinder Nagar was 58.27 per cent — 58.09 per cent male voters and 58.5 per cent female voters. At 14 polling stations, the voter turnout was less than 50 per cent. This time, a special on-the-ground campaign will be run at 50 polling stations where the turnout was low the last time, the CEO had earlier said.

Selfie kiosks have been set up at the polling booths. Voters can take selfies and post those on social media to encourage others to come out and exercise their franchise, the CEO's office said in a statement.

Singh had visited the office of the returning officer (RO) of the constituency on Tuesday to take stock of the preparations for the bypoll.

The CEO also emphasised that all related measures to contain COVID-19 such as use of face masks, gloves, thermal scanners and social-distancing markings have to be implemented properly.

Preparations were underway on Tuesday evening for 100 per cent webcasting of the poll proceedings in view of the Covid pandemic.

A model polling station has been set up at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in Pusa. It is an eco-friendly polling station with all green material being used.

A critical polling booth is located at Dasghara and an all-women polling station has been set up at the DI Khan Bharti Sabha Senior Secondary School in New Rajinder Nagar. This polling station will have only women polling personnel and the security personnel will also be women, advocating women empowerment and inclusiveness, a senior official said.

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