Voting picks up in Delhi civic polls (Third Lead)April 15th, 2012 - 5:10 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, April 15 (IANS) Voting for the trifurcated Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections picked up as the day progressed Sunday with around 30 percent voters turning up to exercise their franchise till afternoon.
Delhi saw an average 12 to 15 percent polling during the first three hours, but people started stepping out of their homes as the day progressed. Voting touched 30 percent till 2 p.m., an official said.
Voting for the 272 seats began at 8 a.m. amid tight security.
The elections are witnessing a tough fight between the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress.
“The voting percentage ranged between 12 to 15 percent for the first three hours, which I consider as good,” said Delhi Election Commissioner Rakesh Mehta.
Mehta said there were reports of low voter turnout in parts of south Delhi but hoped it would improve later in the day.
“I hope it being a Sunday and the pleasant weather will bring out more people to polling booths,” he said.
The election commission received some complaints of electronic voting machines (EVMs) malfunctioning in certain polling booths.
“Complaints of EVMs not working and voter slips not being distributed were received from some polling booths during the initial hours, but things have been sorted out,” he added.
People in some parts of the capital boycotted polls citing poor development in their areas in the last many years.
Women voters turned up in high numbers in the morning, the commission noticed.
Over one crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise across 11,543 booths in the capital to decide the fate of 2,423 candidates.
In the newly trifurcated MCD, the corporations of north and south have 104 wards each, while the east Delhi corporation has 64.
A total of 30,000 armed police personnel have been deployed at the booths to ensure free and fair elections. The BJP, which rules the corporation, had swept the 2007 elections in the then unified MCD with 168 seats.
With the Delhi assembly elections due in end-2013, the results will have significant impact on the morale of the parties.
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Tags: armed police, bharatiya janata party, bjp, civic polls, east delhi, election commission, election commissioner, electronic voting machines, initial hours, low voter turnout, mehta, municipal corporation of delhi, municipal corporation of delhi mcd, New Delhi, polling booths, rakesh, south delhi, tight security, wards, women voters