MCD election 2017: Outer Delhi ward Bakhtawarpur records highest turnout at 69% | delhi | Hindustan Times
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MCD election 2017: Outer Delhi ward Bakhtawarpur records highest turnout at 69%

Located near the Delhi-Haryana-UP border, Bakhtawarpur has a history of turning up in large numbers to exercise their franchise. In 2012 municipal elections, its voting percentage was 69.33%, which was 4.7 percentage points higher than the 2007 elections.

MCD Elections 2017 Updated: Apr 24, 2017 00:08 IST
76 year-old Saheb Kaur poses for a picture after casting her vote at Kalyan Puri polling station.
76 year-old Saheb Kaur poses for a picture after casting her vote at Kalyan Puri polling station. (Ravi Choudhary/HT PHOTO)

Tucked away in the northern most corner of Delhi, Bakhtawarpur ward in North Delhi Municipal Corporation hogged the limelight on Sunday again. The village recorded the highest voter turnout in municipal elections, second time in a row.

While the city’s average stood at around 54%, this seat, mostly comprising rural areas, witnessed 69% voting, which is the maximum in the three corporations.

Located near the Delhi-Haryana-UP border, Bakhtawarpur has a history of turning up in large numbers to exercise their franchise. In 2012 municipal elections, its voting percentage was 69.33%, which was 4.7 percentage points higher than the 2007 elections.

Villagers say every resident here has inherited the habit of voting from his elders. “Our elders tell us how our area always has the highest vote percentage and we take pride in it. Almost every family is concerned and voters come in large number,” said Sharad Rana.

Sanjay, another local said that while agriculture is the main occupation, most villagers are literate and know their rights. “We have people who file RTI on regular basis and participate in every election from local to central. They know everything about politics. It is because of the awareness, the turnout is huge,” he said

However, Deepak Chauhan, cited a different reason for huge polling in the ward. “It is a village of Chauhans and candidates of all the three major parties are locals and belong to the Chauhan clan. All of them are known to everyone and that is why the first thing we did in the morning was to go to the polling booth. We have a wedding in the family and that was another reason we went early in the morning to cast votes,” he said.

Other residents feel that another reason for the highest turnout is the presence of a large number of young voters. “Given the track-record of the village, their elder family members motivate them to use their voting rights,” said Sunil Chauhan, another resident.

Lado Sarai, a ward in South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), earned a dubious distinction of having recorded the lowest polling percentage this time too. As per initial statistics released on Sunday evening, the seat saw 39.14% while in 2012, it was 39. 43%.

One major reason for the low turnout in Lado Sarai ward was cancellation of nomination of BJP candidate from the area, said Pramjeet Sejwal, a resident.

“The cancellation of nomination of a candidate of a major political party might have been the reason that many people didn’t come out in the heat. Secondly, Lado Sarai municipal ward also comprises most parts of Saket — an upmarket locality — where people generally tend to come out less to vote for civic polls,” he said.

A resident of Saket, which comes under the Lado Sarai ward, said it is unfortunate that despite awareness campaigns and given the political scenario, the area could not improve its performance in the democratic process.

“We have lost any right to complain,” said a resident, requesting anonymity.

Peeragarhi ward recorded the lowest turnout — 46% in the North Delhi municipality, which is 7. 66 percentage points less than last election. In 2012, it was 53.66 %.

Madipur ward was on the top of the list in terms of polling percentage in SDMC where it was 61.6%.

In East Delhi Municipal Corporation, the highest polling was witnessed in Sundar Nagari ward (63.62 %) and lowest was registered in Shakarpur at 48. 78%.

With inputs from Vibha Sharma