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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Dec 2014

64.77%: Capital’s highest voter turnout in 20 years

Sidhartha Roy and Atul Mathur , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 11, 2014
First Published: 01:19 IST(11/4/2014) | Last Updated: 02:07 IST(11/4/2014)

Starting with brisk voting from the moment the exercise began at 7 am on Thursday, Delhi witnessed a record voter turnout of 64.77%. By the time voting ended at 6 pm, there were still voters queued up to exercise their right at polling booths.

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Beginning with a great start, Delhi broke the record of the 2009 Lok Sabha elections of 51.85% polling by 3 pm itself. Though the final figures couldn’t reach the magic number of 70%, it still was the highest in the last 20 years and the highest since Delhi became a state in 1992.

The highest turnout was recorded in the North East Delhi constituency (67.08%), an area that is known for its enthusiastic voters. The constituency comprise mainly lower middle-class areas and unauthorised colonies, where the Congress has traditionally enjoyed robust support. The high turnout, however, may mean a feeling of anti-incumbency among voters against JP Agarwal of the Congress, which is likely to benefit AAP’s Professor Anand Kumar and the BJP’s Manoj Tiwari.

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Chandni Chowk, which is witnessing a three-cornered contest among the BJP’s Dr Harsh Vardhan, AAP’s Ashutosh and Kapil Sibal of the Congress, saw the second highest turnout of 66.88%. While the constituency saw the lowest turnout till 5 pm, voters came in droves in the last hours of polling. Chandni Chowk constituency doesn’t just consist of the Walled City but also posh areas of north Delhi which were included after delimitation in 2008.

West Delhi saw the third highest turnout of 65.64%, where Mahabal Mishra of the Congress is locking horns with the BJP’s Parvesh Verma, son of former Delhi CM Sahib Singh Verma and Jarnail Singh of AAP.

Next in the list is East Delhi with 65.59%, an area that comprises middle-class colonies and Muslim-dominated areas such as Okhla and Jamia Nagar.

New Delhi, which has one of the most posh areas of Delhi and also government colonies, saw a voter turnout of 65.03%. Interestingly, South Delhi (62.67%) and North West Delhi (61.38%) constituencies that comprise mainly rural areas and unauthorized colonies and witness higher turnouts saw the second lowest and lowest turnouts on Thursday, respectively.


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