Stray incidents of violence during polls in Delhi (Second Lead)

November 29th, 2008 - 4:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, Nov 29 (IANS) Stray incidents of violence and complaints of failure of the electronic voting machines at a few places were reported as polling progressed at a steady pace in Delhi Saturday to pick a new state assembly. Ten persons sustained minor injuries outside a polling station in the Tughlaqabad constituency when supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party clashed over polling. The reason for the clash was yet not known. The police is looking into it.

In another incident, an election official was manhandled by alleged anti-socials in the Wazirpur constituency over some procedural wrangling. Officials said the situation was under control.

The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) workers clashed in Khayala area in Rajouri Garden constituency following an altercation, minutes after polling started at 8 a.m.

A trickle of voters continued at polling stations almost everywhere in the capital, while the election officials were calculating the voter percentage. “We are collating the data of polling and the turnout is likely to increase,” Chief Electoral Officer Satbir Silas Bedi said.

Polling was delayed by one and a half hours at three polling booths in Hauz Khas area under Malaviya Nagar constituency following confusion over who should vote in which booth.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lodged a complaint with the Election Commission demanding that the polls here be rescheduled. An inquiry has been ordered into the matter.

“We want the polls to be cancelled and rescheduled as voters were troubled and many returned without casting their vote,” Delhi mayor Aarti Mehra told IANS.

Polling had to be temporarily suspended at four other polling booths in the capital following failure of electronic voting machines. Election officials were collecting the details.

The people were enthusiastic and many said they were voting for change. “I have voted for change and I want the government to look seriously at issues like terrorism and price rise,” 19-year-old college student Mayank Sharma, who was excited about voting for the first time, told IANS. There were many who echoed his views.

Over 10.5 million voters will decide the fate of 863 candidates from 69 political parties. The polling is being held for 69 seats while that for one constituency was deferred after the death of a candidate.

Nearly 52,000 security personnel have been deployed in the capital. A total of 10,993 polling stations have been set up, of which over 1,500 have been declared sensitive and hypersensitive - a five-fold increase over the number in the last election.

The Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) are contesting all 69 seats while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is contesting 68 seats. The NCP has fielded 15 candidates while Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) is contesting 10 seats.

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