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'We're Not Late': Delhi Voter Turnout Was 62.59%, Reveals EC After Arvind Kejriwal Questions Delay

New Delhi: Voters stand in queues to cast their vote during the Delhi Assembly elections at a polling station, in Khazoori Khas area of Delhi, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: Voters stand in queues to cast their vote during the Delhi Assembly elections at a polling station, in Khazoori Khas area of Delhi, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. (PTI Photo)

The Delhi Election Commission has denied Aam Aadmi Party’s allegations of EVM tampering and said it is “not unusual or uncommon” for the voter turnout to be officially declared the day after elections.

New Delhi: Delhi recorded an overall turnout of 62.59% in Saturday’s voting, the Delhi Election Commission said in a press conference on Sunday, hours after AAP leader and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal questioned the delay in official declaration of the voting percentage.

Delhi’s Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh said the voting percentage in Delhi assembly elections is about 2% more than the last Lok Sabha elections and 5% less than the 2015 turnout when the AAP received a historic mandate of 67 seats in the 70-seat assembly.

The poll panel said it is “not unusual or uncommon” for the voter turnout to be officially declared the day after elections, adding that multiple levels of scrutiny had led to the delay.

“They did not want to speculate and wanted to give exact figures... So, returning officers worked throughout the night to check data to ensure it is accurate," Singh said.

He said there were more than 13,700 polling stations in the national capital and they had to add data from each station and ensure that every vote is accounted for. "It is not matter of late or early as soon as the voting per cent was finalised, it was shared with the public," he said.

The highest voting of 71.6 per cent was reported from Ballimaran constituency, while the lowest turnout was in Delhi cantonment at 45.4 per cent, Singh said.

Okhla constituency recorded 58.84 per cent voting. Shaheen Bagh and Jamia Nagar, where protests against the amended Citizenship Act are on, fall in Okhla assembly constituency. Seelampur constituency recorded a turnout of 71.2 per cent, according to the data.

Earlier on Sunday, Kejriwal had said it was "absolutely shocking" that the poll panel did not come out with the figure several hours after polling got over. "Absolutely shocking. What is EC doing? Why are they not releasing poll turnout figures, several hours after polling?" Kejriwal had tweeted.

The last voting percentage given by the commission on Saturday night was 61.46 per cent. The voting in the national capital to elect a new government ended at 6 pm on Saturday.

The BJP, meanwhile, has claimed there was a surge in support for the BJP at polling booths after 3pm. “From 3 pm to 7:30 pm, there was huge voting in favor of BJP,” Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said.

Hitting out at the Election Commission, Kejriwal's deputy and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia had asked the poll panel if it was yet to receive the final voter turnout figure from the BJP office.

“BJP leaders are giving the voter turnout figures and on the other hand the Election Commission has not been able to give the final voting percentage 24 hours after polling got over," Sisodia said in a tweet in Hindi.

"EC is saying they are compiling data. What's going on? Are you waiting for the BJP office to give you the final figure?" Sisodia said.

At a press conference, AAP leader Sanjay Singh alleged that "something is cooking" and "a game is being played secretly".

"This is perhaps the first time in the 70-year-history of country that the Election Commission is not ready to release the final figure of voter turnout. The entire country and Delhi have been waiting for the polling percentage since yesterday," he said.

Exit polls for the Delhi assembly election on Saturday forecast a comfortable victory for the ruling AAP.

The Times Now-Ipsos exit polls predicted that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will retain his chair with the AAP winning 44 seats against 26 for the BJP. The Republic-Jan ki Baat survey gave the AAP 48-61 seats and the BJP 9-21 seats.

The TV9 Bharatvarsh-Cicero predicted 54 seats for the AAP, 15 for the BJP and one for the Congress. The AAP had scored an overwhelming victory in the 2015 polls, winning 67 seats and reducing the BJP to three. Congress had drawn a blank.


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