The re-poll was necessitated at this booth after the presiding officer had “forgotten” to delete mock poll data.(Amal KS/HT PHOTO)
The re-poll was necessitated at this booth after the presiding officer had “forgotten” to delete mock poll data.(Amal KS/HT PHOTO)

Turnout dips in Chandni Chowk station re-polling

The voter turnout on Sunday was 42.14% compared to 50.69% on May 12, when Delhi went to vote across all seven seats.
PUBLISHED ON MAY 20, 2019 07:23 AM IST

Heat, holiday and the ongoing Ramzan festival seemed to have kept voters in the Walled City indoors on Sunday, as turnout to polling station number 32 in Chandni Chowk parliamentary constituency recorded a major dip of over 8 percentage points.

The voter turnout on Sunday was 42.14% compared to 50.69% on May 12, when Delhi went to vote across all seven seats.

“The turnout is not satisfactory. Usually people move out and the votes get scattered in the re-polling exercise,” said Delhi’s chief election officer (CEO) Ranbir Singh.

The re-poll was necessitated at this booth after the presiding officer had “forgotten” to delete the mock poll data from the electronic voting machines (EVMs) before the actual voting began on May 12.

Mock poll is carried out for satisfaction of candidates in presence of polling agents to test whether the EVM ballot units are working properly and at least 50 test votes are cast, one for each candidate.

According to a senior official from the CEO’s office, a show-cause notice has been issued to the presiding officer and his team for “negligence”.

“The Election Commission of India (ECI) has asked to take disciplinary action against the officials responsible for the negligence on their part. The returning officer has issued a show-cause notice and appropriate action will be taken after their response is received,” said a senior poll official.

Voting started slowly amid tight security at the polling booth having 655 registered voters, out of which 387 are males while 268 are female voters.

The polling station located at Bela Road, Daryaganj is largely represented by the homeless and residents of Muslim faith . There are around four night shelters located in the area housing over 500 people, said officials.

For Rukshana, 29, who lives in a rain basera ( government night shelter) in Meena Bazaar, it wasn’t much of a trouble leaving her stall at the Sunday market to come out to vote. “Many people have not come because they had to go out to work. But I left my stall to a neighbour and decide to come. It is not a problem, as long as the candidate who we have voted for wins,” she said.

Mohammad Naushad, 41, a rickshaw-puller, said, his family has gone back to the village otherwise they too would have joined him in the re-poll.

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