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Polling begins in Delhi

Polling for the Assembly elections began this morning in the national capital where Congress is engaged in a keen electoral battle with BJP to record a historic third consecutive term in power.

delhi Updated: Nov 29, 2008 08:26 IST

Polling for the Assembly elections began this morning in the national capital where Congress is engaged in a keen electoral battle with BJP to record a historic third consecutive term in power.

Elections are being held in 69 out of the 70 Assembly constituencies while polling for the remaining one will be held on December 13. The polling for the Rajendra Nagar seat was rescheduled after BJP candidate Puran Chand Yogi allegedly committed suicide in the midst of campaigning.

The voting began at 8 a.M. At 10,993 polling stations spread across the capital amid tight security. Over 52,000 police personnel have been deployed, an official at the Delhi Electoral Office said.

A total of 1,05,82,369 voters, including 46.98 lakh women, will exercise their franchise in Delhi. There are 863 candidates.

The stakes in this elections are high for Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister for the past ten years, who faces voters on development agenda while BJP, led by its Chief Ministerial candidate V K Malhotra, is hoping to cash in on anti-incumbency and BSP's 'spoiler effect' on the Congress.

Besides Dikshit and Malhotra, the other candidates whose fate will be decided in today's election are ministers A K Walia, Arvinder Singh Lovely, Yoganand Shastri and Raj Kumar Chouhan, Delhi BJP chief Harsh Vardhan and Leader of the Opposition Jagdish Mukhi, among others.

All eyes are on Mayawati-led BSP, which is contesting all the seats, as the party had improved its tally from two to 17 in last year's municipal elections.