It was not only rural areas but urban areas of the Capital also that saw over 50 per cent voter turnout on Saturday. Figures released by the State Election Commission (SEC) on Sunday have put the final voter turnout at 57.72 %.
“Yesterday the SEC had said about 60 per cent voters have exercised their franchise, but the final figure of 57.72 per cent emerged today with polling extended in some areas due to malfunctioning of Electronic Voting Machines,” said a senior SEC official.
Of the 69 assembly constituencies that went to poll, Mangolpuri, a reserved seat, saw the highest turnout of 64.88 per cent. Delhi urban development minister Raj Kumar Chauhan is contesting from the seat. Mehrauli in south district saw the lowest voter turnout with 45.91 per cent
In the New Delhi Parliamentary constituency, which has urban areas like Greater Kailash, Jangpura, RK Puram and Malviya Nagar, about 54 per cent people came out to vote.
“The impressive middle class turnout is going to benefit the party,” said Delhi BJP spokesperson Mewa Ram Arya.
But what is worrying the party is the huge turnout in rural belt of the Capital.
The south-west district under which areas like Uttam Nagar, Matiala, Najafgarh, Bijwasan and Palam falls saw 60.13 per cent turnout — the highest among the nine revenue districts. Even assembly seats like Kondli, Trilokpuri, Shahdara, Nangloi Jat, Madipur, Mustafabad Gokalpur, Sultanpur Majra in east, west, north-east and north-west districts have seen impressive turnout.
Most of these areas have a large number of unauthorised colonies, which were regularised recently.
“The heavy turnout is only going to benefit Congress which was responsible for regularising these colonies,” said a Congress insider.
But a section of BJP party workers said this could be because of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) factor. “The BSP is strong in these areas and it could become the beneficiary of this huge turnout,” said a BJP leader on conditions of anonymity.
New Delhi constituency, from where Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit is contesting, recorded 55.93 per cent voting, while BJP chief ministerial candidate VK Malhotra’s Greater Kailash seat witnessed 54.50 per cent turnout.
There was a jump in the polling percentage this year compared to that of 53.42 per cent in 2003 and 48.99 per cent in 1998. In 1993, when Delhi faced the first elections, the polling percentage was 61.75 per cent, while the turnout in last year’s MCD elections were a dismal 43.01 per cent.