Delhi gears up for bypolls in five municipal wards on Sunday
The stage is set for bypolls in five municipal wards in Delhi on Sunday with all three main contenders -- the Aam Aadmi Party, BJP and the Congress -- exuding confidence of emerging victorious.
The bypolls are being seen as the semifinal ahead of the civic body elections for 272 wards of three municipal corporations in early 2022.
According to the State Election Commission, around 2.42 lakh people are eligible to cast their votes in these municipal wards -- Rohini-C, Shalimar Bagh (North), Trilokpuri, Kalyanpuri and Chauan Banger.
Voting will be held from 7.30 am to 5.30 pm. The results will be announced on March 3, officials said, adding that there are 327 polling stations. Twenty-six candidates are contesting the elections.
Officials said that Covid-19 patients can vote during the last hour of polling following laid down guidelines.
The AAP has claimed that it will make a clean sweep in the bypoll as Chief Minister Arvind Kerjiwal had recently asserted that the party can challenge the BJP while terming the Congress its "B team".
The main candidates in the by-elections are Dhirendra from the Aam Aadmi Party, Siyaram Kanojia from the BJP and Dharampal Maurya from the Congress in the Kalyanpuri ward.
Vijay Kumar from the AAP, Om Prakash Gugarwal from the BJP and Bal Kishan are contesting from Trilokpuri ward.
Former AAP MLA Haji Ishraq Khan is pitted against Chaudhary Zubair Ahmad of the Congress and Nazir Ansari of the BJP from Chauhan Bamgar ward.
These three wards are under the East Delhi Municipal Corporation. The AAP held these wards which were vacated after sitting councillors contested the assembly polls last year and became MLAs.
From the Shalimarbagh North ward that fell vacant after the death of BJP councillor, the contest is between Surbhi Jaju of the BJP, Sunita Mishra of the AAP and Mamta of the Congress.
The Rohini-C ward will witness a keen contest among former Bawana MLA Ramchandra of the AAP, Rajesh Goyal of the BJP and Mewati Barwala of the Congress.
The AAP and the BJP have been attacking each other over a range of issues, including corruption, during the campaigning.
Earlier this week, senior AAP leader Raghav Chadha had alleged that the BJP, ruling the three municipal corporations, has turned the city into a "heap of garbage".
Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta said that the party will win all the five wards.
The Congress leaders have already appealed to Delhiites to vote for the party candidates in the by-elections.
Earlier in the day, the State Election Commission issued a show-cause notice to Principal Secretary (Revenue) Sanjeev Khirwar and two officers of the Directorate of Information and Publicity (DIP) seeking their reply on an advertisement on 20 per cent reduction in circle rates in the city.
In the notice issued to Khirwar, DIP secretary Padmini Singla and director Manoj Kumar Dwivedi, the Commission said that, prima facie, the advertisement violates the model code of conduct.