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Counting of votes begins in Delhi

Counting of votes to decide the fate of 817 candidates in the fray for the 70-member Delhi Legislative Assembly began on Thursday morning.

india Updated: Dec 04, 2003 08:46 IST

Counting of votes to decide the fate of 817 candidates in the fray for the 70-member Delhi Legislative Assembly began on Thursday morning amidst tight security.

At stake is the political future of leaders including Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit, BJP's chief ministerial hopeful Madal Lal Khurana and Assembly Speaker Subhash Chopra.

Tight security arrangements have been made around the 12 counting centres spread across the city, where the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) had been stored safely.

Early trends were expected to trickle in within two hours from the start of counting and concrete indications would be available by 1400 hours, according to Election Commission sources.

An estimated 53.2 per cent of Delhi's 84.48 lakh voters exercised their franchise as the state completed the massive democratic exercise on Monday. The figure marked a three per cent increase over the previous Assembly election.

Significantly, Khurana's Moti Nagar constituency recorded the highest turn out at 62.37 per cent, while Dikshit's Gole Market constituency recorded only 43.77 per cent turn out.

The Congress, which romped to power in the Assembly polls in 1998 following the 'onion wave', is all smiles this year too as poll observers have predicted a smooth sailing for the party.

First Published: Dec 04, 2003 08:46 IST