It was a hot Sunday but more than half of Delhi was out, trying to make every vote count in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections. The city recorded a historic turnout of 58% - unmatched in civic elections since 1997 and poised to cross the 60% mark.
"Voting is still on in some booths that saw a sudden rush of voters towards the closing time. We are still receiving information from our returning officers about the voting percentage. The exact turnout will only be known by Monday," Delhi state election commissioner Rakesh Mehta said late Sunday evening.
A turnout of 60%, if achieved, will be the city's best score in all elections held since 1993. That year, 65.75% people had cast their votes.The maximum voting (65%) was recorded in New Ashok Nagar in east Delhi. Even south Delhi's Vasant Vihar (43%), which was among the low turnout areas, polled more votes than the overall Delhi average of 42.78% in the 2007 municipal elections. Chhawla, a village in West Delhi, recorded 62% voting.
As expected, more rural voters turned up than their urban counterparts. But villagers in Sanoth and Ladpur in outer Delhi staged a boycott - not a single vote was polled there.
While the state election commission (SEC) and RWAs had encouraged voters, Hindustan Times too ran an extensive campaign 'My Delhi My Vote' to make people aware about the importance of municipal elections.
To help voters, the SEC for the first time distributed special polling slips through booth-level officers that allowed people to vote without hassle.
"I voted so that I can demand my right to play in the colony park. It's the main issue for people of my age in Vasant Kunj," said Mannat Khanna, a 20-year-old Delhi University student.
This is the first time Delhiites voted for three separate municipal corporations - east, north and south Delhi.
It's also the first time 50% of the seats were reserved for women in the three corporations that have a combined strength of 272.
Mehta said the polling was incident-free. "There was no bogus voting or booth-capturing, so no repolling is required," he said.