MCD Election 2017 Highlights: Exit polls predict big BJP win; AAP flags faulty EVMs; turnout remains low
CD polls: Voting ended for 272 wards in three civic bodies of Delhi at 5.30pm. Exit polls predict huge win for BJP in the three municipal bodies. Counting of votes will be held on April 26.MCD Elections 2017 Updated: Apr 23, 2017 19:40 IST
Voting for polls to three municipal corporations in Delhi ended on Sunday at 5.30pm with exit polls predicting huge win for BJP in all three corporations. The day began with thin turnout of voters, with the number crawling to about 35% by 2pm. While the final reports of voter turnout were awaited, polling officials said the figure was likely to cross 54%. There were reports of faults in EVMs in some wards, which were flagged by Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on social media. Some voters also complained that their names were missing from the voters list in some areas.
The day began with L-G Anil Baijal turning up early 8am to cast his vote at Masjid Moth polling centre. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal also exercised his franchise and said that people should vote against vector-borne diseases this time. Among other leaders who have cast their vote are deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, Congress leaders Ajay Maken and BJP leader Dr Harsh Vardhan.
Delhi had a total electorate of over 1.32 crore voters who cast their votes to choose councillors in 272 wards for three corporations — North, East, South. While the North and South corporations have 104 wards each, the East ward has 64 wards. The voter turnout remained low for most part of the day even as the last civic polls in 2012 was at a record 54%.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made across the Capital for the election. The fate of 2,537 candidates is now locked in the EVMs which will be now opened on Wednesday for counting.
Here are the day’s highlights:
7.05 pm: Another exit poll by Aaj Tak and India Today TV also calls the election for BJP. The India Today exit poll predicts around 80 seats for BJP in North and South corporations and around 50 seats in East corporation. AAP is far behind in second place in all three corporations, according to the poll, just ahead of the Congress.
6.40pm: Exit poll by ABP News predicts huge win for BJP in all the three municipal corporations with AAP a distant second. They give the BJP 88 out of 104 seats in North, 83 out of 104 in South and 47 out of 64 in East. In the overall tally, the ABP News poll gives BJP 218 seats out of 272 seats, AAP 24 and Congress 22.
6.35pm: Many Delhiites who braved the scorching sun to reach polling stations had to return home disappointed as their names were missing from the electoral rolls. Such complaints were received from wards across the Capital.
6.25pm: Former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit says MCD polls are not a referendum on two year’s of AAP government in the Capital, but on BJP’s 10-year-rule in the MCDs. “It will be unfair to say that this election is referendum on the Kejriwal government. In fact, it is a referendum on the BJP’s performance as it ruled the MCD in last ten years,” she said.
6.15pm: Security was a priority for women voters across wards in the Capital. Urmila Devi, 73, said security of her grand daughter was her prime concern. Similarly, Isha Goel, a first-time voter and DU student, said security was the key issue for her.
6.05pm: State Election Commission says voting percentage of 252 wards till 4pm is 44.48%.
6pm: Polling booth gates closed as voting ends. Voters already standing in queues will be allowed to vote.
5.55pm: With over 1 lakh first-time voters in MCD polls, many expressed hope that the councillors they vote for will actually work. Some of the young voters had also come well informed about the candidates and their promises.
5.45pm:The Delhi State Election Commission asks two major news channels to explain the reason for the telecast of the survey ahead of the MCD polls, in which they had projected a big BJP win.
5.35pm: Voting percentage so far reported by State Election Commission till 4pm was 42.89% in 219 wards. Data from other wards is being compiled. Officials estimate the turnout will cross 50% after a late surge.
5.25pm: ANI reported ruckus outside Patparganj polling station by voters alleged that the EVMs were not functioning properly. Voters also alleged that the officials did not take note of the problem.
5.08pm: Irked over delay in sending poll percentage by the officials concerned, the SEC has decided to issue a memo to them, PTI reported. “There has been a delay on the part of concerned official in sending poll percentage data to a control room which has been set up at the SEC headquarters. It has been decided to issue a memo to them,” an official said.
4.30pm: Among voters who came out to vote, sanitation was a key issue. A number of voters also pointed to heaps of garbage outside polling stations indicating that it was a major concern to them.
4pm: Voting begins to pick pace again in some wards. With only one-and-a-half hour more to go, voters were seen arriving in dozens at Tilak Nagar, Punjabi Bagh and Jehangirpuri. Voting will close across the Capital at 5.30pm. However, in last Assembly polls election time was increased by an hour due to rush of last minute voters.
3.50pm: Former Congress leader Arvinder Singh Lovely says BJP will get majority in all three municipal bodies.“The BJP is laying the foundation of a new corporation with an idea of clean politics. And this is why I have joined this party. Today history will be made, as no party on the face of Indian politics has taken such a decision where it has changed its entire political leadership. I believe that BJP will win with majority in all three MCDs,” Lovely said.
3.40pm: Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari visits a polling station in Vasundhara Enclave in East Delhi. Meets party workers.
3.35pm: 44,46,000 (33.37%) voters turn up to cast their vote till 2 pm in 236 of 272 wards. Data for the rest of the wards being compiled.
3.30pm: Polling picks up at a booth in Tilak Nagar. Voters arriving by dozens. Will Delhi redeem itself in the last two hours?
3.20pm: 95-year old Digambar Sen Sawhney braves the heatwave to exercise his franchise.
2.40pm: Sheila Dikshit says people will vote for the Congress in the civic polls this time. “We are very hopeful about these polls. And I am sure that we will perform much better this time. People are really angry with the BJP as there is no cleanliness, workers don’t get their pay,” Dikshit said.
2.30pm: CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury says MCD election is a ‘big battle for the future of Delhi’ and said that people should vote to create a world-class city in Delhi and not in terms of political bickering. “It is not a political battle between the BJP, Congress or the AAP. Yes, the political parties are there in the fray, the Left is also there in the fray. The point is that Delhi has become a city that has virtually becoming unmanageable in terms of your civic amenities,” Yechury said.
2.20pm: Voters faced problem due to faulty EVMs in some wards. Former Congress leader Arvinder Singh Lovely, who joined BJP recently, could not cast his vote due to problem in EVMs at East Azad Nagar polling booth. There were also complaints of faulty EVMs in North Delhi Burari area and South West Delhi’s Kapashera due to which voting had to be stopped for a few minutes. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal took to social media over the matter saying that many EVMs had malfunctioned.
Reports from all over Delhi of EVM malfunction, people wid voter slips not allowed to vote. What is SEC doing?— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) April 23, 2017
2.10pm: The participation of Delhi’s affluent in MCD poll process has remained low over the years. This time too, polling station at posh Vasant Vihar has stayed empty with officials saying that only voters from illegal colonies and slums have cast their votes so far.
2pm: Despite relatively moderate temperature on Sunday, voters stay away. Temperature was 36 degrees Celsius at 11.30am in the Capital and is expected to touch 38 degrees Celsius by 2.30pm.
1.45pm: State Election Commission says only 29.23% polling seen in Delhi by 1.30pm.
1.35pm: After declining AAP’s plea for EVMs with paper trail for MCD polls, the EC has set the ball rolling to buy over 16 lakh paper trail machines in the next two years to be used in all polling stations in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
1.25pm: There were some voters who felt disillusioned with the system. They complained that their problems are never addressed and voting makes not difference. Maulana Rahi from JJ Colony in Dwarka, said the poor locals vote every time but their problems are never solved. Najafgarh farmers, too had a similar stand. Mahender Singh of Punjabi Bagh said he is from a family that suffered during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. “No one bothers about our colonies,” he said.
1.15pm: Villagers of Kanjhawala, who had boycotted the MCD polls last time, voted on Sunday. They however, said that they have been demanding metro connectivity in the area and threatened to boycott the next Lok Sabha elections if their demands are not met.
1.05pm: AAP leader Sanjay Singh removed from Janakpuri polling booth after an argument with polling officials over giving an interview after he cast his vote.
12.50am: Union minister Harsh Vardhan confident of the AAP’s rout in the civic polls, says people of Delhi have a clear choice in front of them. “The people of Delhi want to be governed by the BJP, which is led by Prime Minister Modi, who is leaving no stone unturned in developing the nation on all fronts,” said Vardhan.
12.40pm: Delhi State Election Commission registers 12.62% tuned out till 12pm.
12.30pm: At a polling booth in Jamai Nagar, 28-year-old Aas Mohammed cast his vote. Aas, who does not have both arms was helped by his wife Afsana and was inked on one shoulder. Aas runs and embroidery business and said he was proud to have exercised his ballot.
12.25pm: In polling stations at Sarita Vihar, Burari and Tughlaqabad voters are braving long queues to exercise their vote. Senior citizens are being assisted by the Delhi police personnel on duty at the polling booths.
12.15pm: Former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit casts her vote at a polling booth in DAV School, Nizamuddin East.
12.10pm: Voters says sanitation is a prime concern for them in this election. The MCDs have seen repeated strike by sanitation workers over the past years. Each time such a strike left the city’s civic infrastructure in tatters.
11.58am: Among a number of women voters who said security is a crucial issue for them, is Ratna who lives in Defence Colony. She rues that while leaders come to seek votes, they forget about it once elections are over. For her too, security of young girls is a prime concern. Watch here:
11.50am: The otherwise crowded lanes of Karol Bagh stand deserted today because of MCD elections. Voter turnout at the polling booth in Karol Bagh has also thinned with increase in temperature.
11.40am: Delhi Police received 300 calls related to polls till 11 am, one was about firing outside a booth in Dhansa,Najafgarh.
11.30am: Turnout is also low in villages where election officers are still waiting for voters to turn up.
11.20am: Delhi State Election Commission reports 7.67% polling till 11am.
11.10am: BJP vice-president Shyam Jaju says Delhi has already rejected the Congress. “People of Delhi are fed up of Arvind Kejriwal and his party. I am absolutely confident the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will win. This is a litmus test for the AAP, as these polls will decide that how the national capital has accepted Arvind Kejriwal,” said Jaju.
11am: BJP leaderVijender Gupta casts his vote, says that with Prime Minister Narendra Modi ruling the nation, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal will find it hard to rule the national capital again. “I have done my best to win people’s hearts; it’s like a challenge for me to contest in the MCD polls. With Modi ruling the nation, it is going to be difficult for Arvind Kejriwal to rule in the state again,” Gupta told ANI.
10.50am: Some voters in areas like Sangam Vihar and Tilak Nagar complain that they were unable to find their name in the voters list.
10.40am: Only 1.16% voting reported from across three corporations till 10am. East, is the slowest so far with only .78% votes polled while North and South have reported 1.47% and 1.10%, respectively.
10.30am: Ajay Maken says Delhi should vote for Congress for sensible governance. “Looking at the track record of the Congress Party, the people will vote for the Congress in Delhi. BJP ruled corporations have caused enough damage. We need to rectify this now and give good governance in Delhi,” said Maken.
10.12am: Congress’ leader Ajay Maken arrives with his daughter Arushi to vote at Rajouri Garden polling station. Sports minister Vijay Goel also cast his vote along with his wife.
10.05am: North Delhi’s Burari has seen 13% votes till 10am. With the heat increasing now, voters have to stand in the open to cast vote.
9.58am: The Delhi State Election Commission has deployed ample staff to man its polling stations, some of which fall in outer Delhi areas and the EVMs being used this time do not have paper trail. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had raised fears of tampering and demanded that EVMs with paper trails be used this time.
9.50am: Rajouri Garden councillor Subhash Arya casts his ballot, says confident of winning over 200 seats. “AAP will be at the third spot,” says Arya
9.38am: Over an hour after voting began across the Capital, some polling booths are yet to see voters. Polling booth, at Deoli for example, has not seen any turnout so far.
9.30am: Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s daughter Harsita, who accompanied her father, exercised ballot for the first time. Young and first-time voters were also seen enthusiastically taking part in the polling process at polling booths in Rajouri Garden.
9.18am: Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal casts his vote at a Civil Lines polling booth, says people should vote to make Delhi free of dengue and chikungunya.
9.10am: A number of senior citizens are turning up to vote. Seen below is 82-year-old Raja Ram who voted at Rajpura Road polling booth and 88-year-old Gulaab Devi in Dwarka, who voted for the fifth time in an MCD election. Polling booths in Lado Sarai and Jungpura also reported a number of senior citizens arriving to exercise ballot.
9.08am: Union Minister Dr Harshvardhan casts his vote at the polling booth in Krishna Nagar’s Ratan Devi School. He was accompanied by his mother, who also cast her vote.
9.01am: Voting also reportedly slow at Hari Nagar, voters are in and out in two minutes.
8.53am: Polling has a slow start near Tiraha Bairam khan, Delhi Gate. Volunteers at counters set by political parties sit idle as voters yet to arrive. In Pandav Nagar, on the other hand, people have queued up to cast vote in the early hours.
8.42am: EVM at a polling booth in East Azad Nagar reportedly not working. Arvinder Singh Lovely, who recently quit Congress to join BJP, could not cast his vote.
8.39am: Couples, families and elderly seen arriving at polling booths to vote. Out of 1.32 crore voters, nearly 1 lakh are expected to exercise franchise for the first time.
8.29am: Leave your phones at home when going out to vote today. Voters carrying mobile phones have to return home as phones are not allowed inside polling booths.
8.25am: Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia arrives at Pandav Nagar, says if people want to see a clean Delhi and get rid of dengue they should vote AAP. Also adds that you should definitely vote if you are troubled by corruption in MCDs.
8.20am: Arvind Kejriwal likely to vote at 9am at Civil Lines polling booth.
8.17am: Pleasant Delhi weather expected to draw out early voters today. Voting expected to be highest in the morning and evening hours.
8.10am: Voting begins for 272 wards in Delhi. Voters line up at booths across the Capital early Sunday morning to cats ballot.
8.05am: Elections in Sarai Pipal Thala and Maujpur ward postponed due death of two candidates. Bypolls for these wards will take place on May 21 and May 14, respectively and the results will be declared on May 16 and May 23.
8am: Delhi L-G Anil Baijal arrives at Masjid Moth polling station to cast his vote.
7.55am: Delhi sky is expected to remain partly cloudy throughout the voting day Sunday. Met officials have predicted possibility of thundery development in the evening. The day temperature is expected to remain around 39 degrees Celsius
7.45am: Posters at polling booth instruct voters not carry mobile phones and cigarettes inside. Voters should carry Aadhar card, passport, voter identification card or driving licence.
7.40am: Volunteer of key political parties have stationed their desks at various polling booths to help voters.
7.35am: In a first, voters will have the option to choose NOTA in Delhi civic polls this time.
7.25am: Voters have already started to arrive at polling booths in some areas. Voting begins in about 30 minutes.
7.17am: As one EVM can only have 16 candidates, wards with more candidates will have two EVMs placed side by side at polling booths.
7.07am: Nearly 13,100 polling stations across the Capital are set to receive voters as the polling for MCD election begins at 8am today. Polling will close at 5.30pm.