Voting picks up in Delhi
New Delhi – Voting picked up Wednesday noon in Delhi, where 810 candidates are battling it out for the 70-member assembly.
Delhi recorded only 4 percent polling till 9 a.m. but it went up to 17 percent by 11 a.m. in the election that is largely being seen as a triangular contest between the ruling Congress, opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and new entrant Aam Aadmi Party.
“In Delhi assembly election, the turnout till 11 a.m. is around 1! 7 percent,” said a statement by the Delhi Election Commission.
So far polling percentage was received from four areas – east Delhi (11 percent), northeast (12 percent), west (12 percent) and north (10 percent).
In New Delhi assembly constituency, the voter turnout was 31 percent till post-noon.
Over 11.9 million voters are eligible to exercise their franchise. Burari with 23 candidates has the largest number of contestants in the fray while Patel Nagar is at the other end with just four candidates.
Delhi had recorded 57.58 percent polling in 2008.
Three-time Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who led the Congress poll effort in the national capital, said she is hopeful that people will vote for development done by the Congress government.
“I am hopeful that people will vote for development and work done by us in the last 15 years. I would not want to say how many seats we will win,” she said, adding forcefully that there is “no ! anti-incumbency” against her party.
Dikshit said the direct fight is between BJP and Congress and she do not see AAP as a strong contender.
The BJP has doctor-politician Harsh Vardhan as its chief ministerial candidate while engineer-turned taxman-turned political wannabe Arvind Kejriwal is the face of the AAP.
Harsh Vardhan, however, claimed his party is ahead of both the Congress and AAP.
“BJP is far ahead of the Congress and the AAP. It is the Congress and the AAP who are contesting for the second position. Nobody can make a dent in our vote bank,” Harsh Vardhan told reporters after casting his vote in the Krishna Nagar constituency.
But Kejriwal said he was confident of the results being in his favour.
“People are ready, they have made up their mind to remove the corrupt. I am very confident of the results. It will not be my victory but that of the people,” he said.
The campaign saw hectic efforts by all contestants amid ! predictions of a hung assembly by many pre-poll surveys.
Vice Pr! esident Hamid Ansari, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi cast their vote in the morning.
Accompanied by her husband Robert Vadra, Sonia Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka Gandhi too came out to vote.