Delhi elections: Voting ends, Delhi witnesses record voter turnout
Delhi has recorded a high voter turnout of 66 per cent so far, the highest witnessed in the state.
New Delhi: 7:31 pm: Polling is still on in Dwarka, Trilokpuri and Krishna Nagar.
7:26 pm: Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit praises the high voter turnout. "Polling percentage has been good, but I cannot predict the outcome," says Dikshit. Meanwhile, Delhi BJP chief Vijay Goel is confident of victory in Delhi. "BJP is emerging as the single largest party in Delhi, it will form the government on its own," says Goel.
7:10 pm: Delhi's Chief Electoral officer Vijay Dev said that Delhi has recorded 65 per cent voter turnout so far. "As per law 5:00 pm is the time for closure of voting, but if the voters are inside the polling booth, then, polling will continue," said Dev.
6:50 pm: Following the long queues in polling booths, the Election Commission has extended voting till 7:15 pm.
5:53 pm: Voting likely to continue in some places till 6:30 pm. Election Commission says that time was extended to allow voters standing in queues to exercise their right.
5:21 pm: Delhi has witnessed a record voter turnout of 66 per cent. The earlier highest was in 1993 when 65.75 per cent voters exercised their votes.
5:03 pm: Voting for the Delhi Assembly elections has come to an end. However, voters who are still in queues will be allowed to cast their votes.
4:50pm: The voting percentage of constituencies has emerged. Polling percentage in New Delhi district, from where Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit is contesting, is 74 per cent while polling percentage in RK puram has crossed 80.5 per cent. Greater Kailash has also seen a polling percentage of 79.74 per cent, while the polling percentage in Okhla was at 55 per cent.
4:00 pm 55 per cent voting has been recorded in the Delhi elections so far.
3:27 pm: The voter turnout recorded till 3 pm is 48 per cent. The Election Commission is happy with the turnout and says it may go up to 70 per cent by the end of voting.
2:42 pm: In the New Delhi constituency, the voter turnout is 46 per cent till 2 pm.
1:27 pm: 34 per cent voter turnout has been recorded till 1 pm. 38 per cent male voters and 32 per cent female voters have cast their votes so far.
1:22 pm: About 7,000 voters from the New Delhi constituency at the Kali Badhi Marg booth have complained that their names are not on the list. Women at the YMCA staff quarters also say they were not allowed to vote as their names were not on the electoral rolls, even though they have election identity cards.
11:48 am: There has been 22 per cent voting till 11:30 am in the New Delhi seat where Arvind Kejriwal is up against Sheila Dikshit.
11:46 am: Union Minister Kapil Sibal has cast his vote in the Delhi elections.
11:34 am: 17 per cent voting has been recorded till 11 am.
11:05 am: Voting at various polling booths has picked up slightly. However, there is no huge turnout yet.
11:02 am: Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has said BJP PM candidate has no role to play in the Delhi elections. "This is no referendum for Centre, it's a vote for Delhi. Modi is BJP's PM candidate and the sheen is off, so he nothing here," she said. "This election is about Congress and not me and Modi is no factor," she added.
10:32 am: Sonia Gandhi's daughter Priyanka Gandhi and son-in-law Robert Vadra have cast their votes in the Delhi elections.
10:20 am: 10 per cent voting has been recorded till 10:10 am.
10:14 am: Four per cent voting has been recorded till 9 am.
10:07 am: Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit have cast their votes the Nirman Bhavan polling booth.
10:03 am: Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit have reached the Nirman Bhavan polling booth to cast their votes.
9:32 am: Sheila Dikshit, who is set to vote, said the Congress is confident of getting votes. "We will get vote on consistent and inclusive development. We have made Delhi the best place. All these corruption charges are false," she said.
She said she is not nervous and added, "Voters have been very quiet, I hope they vote for what is good for them in the long run."
9:28 am: Arvind Kejriwal has gone to check the polling booth at Gole Market, where some AAP workers were allegedly refused to be allowed to sit and their tables were removed.
9:21 am: Some voters say they are seeing enthusiasm among the AAP volunteers at polling booths. A voter who cast his vote at the Lakshmi Nagar constituency said at the booth there, AAP volunteers were fully charged and welcomed voters with all enthusiasm.
9:12 am: Delhi is hoping to see a higher voter turnout with at least 4 lakh first-time voters registered this time.
9:11 am: AAP leader Prashant Bhushan has alleged that the party has not been allowed to put its tables in front of some polling booths. "An many polling stations, AAP is not being allowed to put up their tables in front of the polling stations. This complaint is coming primarily from the New Delhi constituency, Adarsh Nagar. I am appealing to the CEC to take action. It is clear that police officers have been instructed not to let AAP put up their tables. The BJP and Congress have put up their tables in front of the polling booths," Bhushan said.
9:02 am: BJP CM candidate Harsh Vardhan has cast his vote at the Krishna Nagar polling booth.
8:54 am: BJP CM candidate Harsh Vardhan said the Aam Aadmi Party doesn't exist for him and he is sure of a victory. "I hope the voter turnout is high. If it can be high in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, then we hope Delhi has over 80 per cent turnout. We are 100 per cent sure of victory, we'll win with a very high margin. The third party doesn't exist," he said.
8:45 am: BJP CM candidate Harsh Vardhan has reached the Krishna Nagar polling station to cast his vote.
8:30 am: BJP Chief Ministerial candidate Dr Harsh Vardhan has left with his family to cast his vote. Before leaving, he said, "We will have a hands down victory and you will see on December 8." Speaking about AAP, he said, "A vote to a third party is a vote wasted and the people of Delhi have enough wisdom."
8:13 am: AAP chief and CM candidate Arvind Kejriwal has cast his vote at the Hanuman Road polling booth. "People are ready, they have made up their mind to remove the corrupt. Let's fast today. I have not eaten anything. I will go meditate now and return on December 7," he said after casting his vote.
8:13 am: Arvind Kejriwal as well as Delhi BJP leader Vijay Goel have reached the Hanuman Road polling booth to cast their votes.
8:11 am: While leaving for casting his vote, Kejriwal told CNN-IBN's Rupashree Nanda, "The people of Delhi have to make up their minds on what they want. These are not my elections, these are the elections of the people of Delhi."
8:00 am: Voting has begun in Delhi for what is being seen as game changing elections. Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal has left for Hanuman Road polling booth where he will cast his vote. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi will vote from the Nirman Bhavan booth.
For years, what has been a bipolar polity may now witness a triangular fight as Delhi votes to elect a new government. Arvind Kejriwal's evolution and metamorphis in the past one year from a leading face in Anna Hazare's anti-graft campaign into a full fledged political leader has been complete.
AAP has worked to make in-roads both in urban middle classes and youth and also the Congress strongholds in slums. Its candidates, after a sting operation recently, faced direct attacks from the opposition. But with his broom, Kejriwal played the outsider card espousing the alternate politics.
Sheila Dikshit, up against the double anti-incumbency, of both the Centre and the state, has ruled for 15 years. She continues to wage the battle after Rahul Gandhi's rally which saw thin attendance. The Delhi Chief Minister has tried to make the contest Delhi centric, banking on her 42 sitting candidates and development projects.
As for the BJP, feeling the leadership vacuum, it decided to finally declare a CM candidate in Dr Harsh Vardhan. The ENT specialist slowly yet steadily picked up the threads and built the campaign. But the BJP relied heavily on its star campaigner and PM candidate Narendra Modi to mobilise the urban middle class voter.
A total of 1.19 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise on December 4. There are over 4.05 lakh first-time voters. A total of 810 candidates are in the fray for the 70-member Assembly. BJP has fielded candidates in 66 seats, AAP in 69 and Congress in all 70 constituencies.
The BSP has fielded candidates in 69 seats, NCP in nine and Samajwadi Party has fielded candidates in 27 seats. A total of 224 independents are also in the fray.
The elections in Delhi and four other states are being seen as the semi-final for the 2014 Lok Sabha election.
Clearly for the BJP as for the Congress, who are so used to a direct contest, the imponderable in these election has brought in an element of uncertainty with the AAP factor.
(With additional information from PTI)