Chaos ruled the streets as aspiring councillors flooded the city roads to file their nominations after getting the last-minute green signal from their respective high commands, causing huge traffic snarls.
Monday was the last day for filing nominations. All roads led to the officers of returning officers (ROs) offices as candidates with their supporters in tow and several cars in their convoy rushed to meet the deadline.
With barely four hours available at hand (11am to 3pm), more than thousand candidates lined up at 68 RO offices across the city. Till 9.30pm, a total of 1,785 nominations had been scrutinised.
Contestants from all parties such as BJP, Congress, BSP, SP Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party, Shiv Sena, Rashtravadi Shiv Sena and many other independent candidates filed nominations. And for each MCD ward, there were a number of back-up candidates who had to file their nominations in case the State Election Commission rejected any application.
“As per information given by 10 RO offices, for merely 40 wards, we received nominations from 369 candidates,” said an officer of State Election Commission.
Many candidates could be seen flouting State Election Commission (SEC) guidelines. The SEC has given permission for only three vehicles in a convoy but many candidates were accompanied by six to seven cars at Jamnagar House, creating trouble for motorists.
Union minister Ajay Maken, minister for social welfare Kiran Walia and senior BJP leaders including Arti Mehra came to boost the morale of their candidates.
At Bombay Life House in Connaught Place, the first nomination of the day was filed by on behalf of the main suspect of 2008 Delhi blast Zia ur Rehman by his father. Rehman is currently in Sabarmati Jail, Ahmedabad and is contesting from Zakir Nagar.
The poll frenzy affected traffic in many areas such as ITO, Connaught Place, Hauz Khas, Kashmere Gate, Geet Colony, Greater Kailash I, Patel Chowk, Ashram and Laxmi Nagar.
Delhi Traffic police received a number of complaints. “Traffic snarls were reported from ITO, MB Road, Sham Nath Marg and Under Hill Road in Civil Lines. We had to depute additional staff to manage the flow of traffic. There was a last-minute rush to file nominations which led to traffic jams,” said Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of police, (traffic).