New Delhi: As polling began across all Assembly segments in the national capital today morning, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged the voters to exercise their franchise.
“Please go out and vote. Special appeal to all women – Just as you take up the responsibility of your homes, the responsibility towards the country and Delhi is also on your shoulders. All of you ladies must go and cast your votes and also take the men of your house along. Make sure to discuss it with them that voting is their right,” Kejriwal tweeted.
Polling for the 70 seats of Delhi Assembly began at 8 am in the national capital amid tight security on Saturday. The voting will continue till 6 pm in the evening.
The city is witnessing a triangular contest among the ruling AAP, which won a landslide majority in the last elections, the BJP and the Congress. In the last poll, the AAP had won 67 seats, the BJP 3. Congress didn’t open its account.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is hoping to retain power for the second consecutive term. Similarly, the BJP is hopeful to gain a majority by cashing in on the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Congress, which was in power for 15 years at a stretch in Delhi under the leadership of former Chief Minister late Sheila Dixit till the party lost to AAP in 2015 polls, will be hoping for a revival.
Several political heavyweights are trying their luck from their old turfs. Chief Minister Kejriwal is contesting from New Delhi seat. BJP has fielded Sunil Yadav against him while Congress has fielded Romesh Sabbarwal from the seat.
AAP’s Dillip Pandey is contesting from Timarpur, Atishi from Kalkaji, Raghav Chadha from Rajender Nagar.
BJP has fielded Vijender Gupta from Rohini. Former AAP leader Kapil Mishra is the BJP candidate from Model Town in this election. Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga is a BJP candidate from Hari Nagar.
Congress has fielded Arvinder Singh Lovely from Gandhi Nagar. Former AAP leader Alka Lamba is a Congress candidate from Chandni Chowk. Haroon Yusuf is contesting from Ballimaran.
Over 1.4 crore people are eligible to cast their votes in the Delhi Assembly election.
Out of the total number of eligible voters — 1,47,86,382 — there are 81,05,236 male voters and 66,80,277 female voters. Besides this, there are 869 third gender voters.
As many as 13,571 polling stations are there at 2,688 locations. Out of these, 3,141 are critical polling stations and 144 are vulnerable polling stations.
2,04,830 voters are above the age of 80, while 147 voters are above the age of 100.
To ensure peaceful and fair polling in all 70 constituencies, as many as 190 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) have been deployed. Besides this, 19,000 Home Guards and 42,000 Delhi Police personnel will also be deployed.
AAP is contesting on all 70 seats, while the BJP has fielded its candidates on 67 seats and has left three seats for its allies — two for JD-U and one for LJP. On the other hand, Congress is contesting on 66 seats and has given four seats to its ally RJD.