Delhi recorded a low voter turnout with an estimated 61.18 percent exercising their franchise in the Assembly election on Saturday. This was despite a fiercely contested campaign by the incumbent Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The state had recorded 67 percent polling in 2015 Assembly elections.
Of the 11 districts, North East Delhi recorded the highest turnout of 65.24 percent, while New Delhi district recorded 57.11 percent, as per the latest figures available (till 10.09 pm) on the EC's voter turnout app.
The three minority-dominated seats of Mustafabad, Matia Mahal and Seelampur and the Gokalpur seat, reserved under SC Category, recorded the highest voter turnout on Saturday.
Mustafabad in northeast Delhi recorded 70.55 percent voter turnout while Matia Mahal in old Delhi, an area that saw anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests, recorded a voter turnout of 68.36 percent. Seelampur, another Muslim-dominated seat in northeast Delhi, recorded 71.4 percent voting. The seat had also seen anti-CAA protests in December.
Gokalpur recorded the third-highest turnout at 69.73 percent.
Among the constituencies that witnessed a low turnout were Delhi Cantonment, which witnessed 45.42 percent polling, Shakur Basti at 49.19 percent, and New Delhi which saw a turnout of 51.64 percent.
It is important to note that these are provisional figures and are likely to rise as polling at some booths was underway at 6 pm, Delhi's Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh said.
Polling officially ends at 6 pm. But voters who enter polling stations till 6 pm are allowed to cast their vote.
Singh said there were long queues at many polling booths.
Voter turnout in percentage (till 10 pm)
Voting remains dismal till noon
In the one hour since voting began at 8 am, at least 4.34 percent voters came out of their homes to exercise their franchise. The voting percentage rose to 5.27 percent by 10 am amid security forces keeping a tight watch across the 70 constituencies and an "extra vigil" in sensitive areas like Shaheen Bagh, Jamia Nagar and Seelampuri. At this hour, of the 11 districts in Delhi, South Delhi district recorded the highest turnout at 6.4 percent, polling was the lowest in South West Delhi at 1.51 percent.
By 11 am, the turnout in at least four of the eleven districts was still very low with South West Delhi recording the lowest at 6.77 percent. Other districts with poor turnout till 11 am were New Delhi (7.34 percent), Central (7.85 percent) and South East (8.08 percent). The highest turnout till 11 am was recorded in North East with 14.68 percent polling.
The numbers jumped significantly in these districts by noon, but the overall turnout was still low with just 15.68 percent polling till noon.
Shaheen Bagh, the epicentre of anti-CAA protests saw long queues in the afternoon, but the Assembly constituency showed dismal poll percentage as per EC data. The Election Commission had put all five polling stations in Shaheen Bagh area under the "critical" category.
Most media reports claimed long queues were seen outside polling booths. However, Okhla, the Assembly constituency under which the area falls saw a dismal voter turnout with provisional data showing just 4.66 percent turnout in the constituency till noon.
AAP's Amanatullah Khan is the sitting MLA in this area and also the 2020 candidate of the party, he is up against Congress's Parvez Hashmi and BJP's Brahm Singh Bidhuri.
By 2 pm, the average turnout was at 27.48 percent. At this hour, the Jat-dominated Bijwasan, part of the South Delhi district, recorded the poorest turnout with 10.79 percent of votes. Mustafabad seat in North East Delhi recorded the highest voter turnout with 37.36 percent. Key candidates in Mustafabad constituency include Haji Yunus of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Jagdish Pradhan of the BJP and Ahmed's son Ali Mehndi from Congress.
Spur in polling post 3 pm
By 3 pm, the average polling percentage for the 11 districts rose to just a dismal 29.89 percent.
While voting was slow in the early hours, it picked up between 3 pm and 4 pm, and in seven districts, the turnout increased by more than 10 percent. Based on provisional data on the Election Commission's voter turnout app, 42.29 percent electors had exercised their electoral franchise. Mustafababad, the Muslim-dominated Mustafabad became the first and only constituency to cross the 50 percent polling till 4 pm.
According to the 5 pm data released by the Election Commission, two districts — New Delhi and Central — recorded a jump in voting figures from 4 pm. The voter turnout in the New Delhi shot up to 44.09 from 37.26 percent while in Central Delhi it increased from 38.41 to 44.74 percent.
The Rithala constituency in North West Delhi has registered a voter turnout of only 35.30 percent till 5.30 pm. The Constituency had recorded a voter turnout of 66.46 percent in the previous election.
As per reports, Rithala has a mixed population with Muslims constituting over 30 to 40 percent of the population. The Assembly segment also has a crucial Jat population, which has traditionally been a BJP vote bank. Middle-class areas such as Sector 17 Rohini, Sector 16 Rohini, Sector 11 Rohini and Sector 6 Rohini are part of the constituency.
According to Election Commission data, over 1.47 crore people are eligible to exercise their franchise in the polls, the results of which will decide the fate of 672 candidates.
According to Delhi Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Ranbir Singh, there are over 81 lakh male voters, 66.80 lakh female voters, and 869 third-gender voters. Around 2.33 lakh voters are in the age group of 18-19, 2.04 lakh voters are senior citizens aged 80, while there are 11,608 service voters, according to officials.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Feb 08, 2020 22:53:21 IST