The voter turnout in Delhi, where not even 10 per cent voters had turned up in the first hour after polling began, had picked up considerably by 3 pm on Saturday, with over 51 per cent of the capital casting their votes.
BJP President Amit Shah took stock of the voter turnout at the party office, said sources. The party is counting on a big voter turnout in this close contest.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra pointed out that in the last election, voters began filling booths in the second half of polling day. "They had to extend polling till midnight in some places," he said.
Facing tough competition from Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party, the BJP is said to link its chances of a win in Delhi with a big voter turnout. Sources said the party hopes for a minimum 60 per cent voter turnout.
66 per cent had voted in December 2013. But in the last 13 months, the city has already voted twice and an election fatigue is expected. Getting the capital's 1.3 crore voters to the polling booths today is being seen as the big challenge.
"As Delhi votes today, urging voters to go out & vote in large numbers. I particularly call upon my young friends to vote in record numbers," Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted on Saturday morning.
As Delhi votes today, urging voters to go out & vote in large numbers. I particularly call upon my young friends to vote in record numbers.; Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 7, 2015
In morning newspapers, a full-page BJP ad demonstrated how to vote for its symbol, the lotus, provoking early morning complaints from the Aam Aadmi Party.
While the PM has tweeted that message in every recent state election, many more BJP leaders followed suit today. Party president Amit Shah tweeted, "The future of Delhi lies in your finger, please participate in large numbers & vote. #DelhiVotes,"
"Get out and vote" was the message that two lakh BJP workers carried door to door in Delhi hours before polling began.Mr Shah, who is credited with the BJP's winning strategy in recent elections, micromanaged the Delhi election campaign as AAP seemed to gain momentum. He set specific targets from leaders down to booth workers. Each booth worker had to make contact with at least 30 families, four times each before polling.
AAP relied on its volunteers to counter the BJP's push in the final hours.