Provisional Voter Turnout Of 57. 06 Per Cent In Delhi Polls, Says Election Commission

Average of exit polls released after voting was closed predicted Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) would retain Delhi, with the BJP set to improve its 2015 haul

Provisional Voter Turnout Of 57. 06 Per Cent In Delhi Polls, Says Election Commission

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is running for re-election in 2020 Delhi Assembly election (File)

New Delhi:

Delhi recorded a provisional voter turnout of 57.06 per cent for Saturday's Assembly polls, the Election Commission said this evening, cautioning that the figure was "bound to increase" because voting had not yet concluded in around 103 booths. The poll body also said voting had taken place "smoothly" and without incident. The tentative figures are, however, well below the 67.5 per cent recorded in 2015 - a record for Delhi - but represent an impressive finish given poor turnout through most of the day.

"The election was peaceful... conducted better as compared to the last time (2015)," Delhi Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh told reporters, adding that 10,000 volunteers, 3,900 wheel chairs and sign language interpreters had been deployed across nearly 2,700 polling stations and 13,000 booths.

Mr Singh also said that Rs 12 crore cash had been seized and that this election saw the introduction of 11 new apps designed to help candidates and voters.

An average of exit polls released after voting closed predicted Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) would retain Delhi with around 52 seats in the 70-member Assembly, an average of exit polls said.

The aggregate also said the BJP would win 17 and the Congress, which drew a blank in the last election, would take home a single seat.

Voting was held for all 70 of Delhi's Assembly seats today, with nearly 2,700 polling stations and 13,000 booths set up across Delhi opening at 8 am.

Voters had appeared reluctant to cast their votes, with turnout in the morning and early afternoon below 2015 levels; 4.33 per cent was recorded at 9 am against 5.4 per cent for the same time five years ago.

Earlier today Mr Singh told NDTV initial low turnout could have been because of the cold weather.

Today's polling marked the end of a bitterly fought campaign that saw coarse language, hate speeches and communally-charged attacks, with four BJP leaders - including UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Union Minister of State Anurag Thakur - get notices from the Election Commission.

Arvind Kejriwal also came under scrutiny from the poll body.

Around 1.47 crore people had been eligible to cast their votes today, with over 670 candidates to choose from as Mr Kejriwal's AAP seeks to retain power.

The AAP stormed to power in 2015, winning 67 seats and cornering 54.3 per cent of the vote. The BJP was second with only three seats and 32 per cent of the vote, while the Congress - which had been in power between 1998 and 2013 - drawing a blank and getting only 9.6 per cent of the vote.

Election results will be declared on February 11.

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