NEW DELHI: After more than a month of round the clock electioneering and campaigning, the polling was finally held across the national capital, Delhi. MCD elections 2017 are over and the political parties, their candidates and voters are anxiously awaiting the arrival of results.
But it is going to take three days for the results to be announced as counting will be held only on 26th April. Results will start pouring from around 10 a.m. though the counting will begin earlier on that day.
Polling was held for 270 seats out of MCD’s 272 seats. Voting was postponed for two seats due to the death of two candidates in these constituencies.
As the temperature soared, many thought that the polling ratio will go down. But instead of going down, polling picked up in latter part of the day. In the first three hours in the morning, only 10 percent voting took place. But it picked up in the noon and afternoon with long queues of voters almost present outside every polling booth.
Towards the evening it was clear that despite many EVM machines malfunctioning, the voting was as high as 54 percent. In the meantime, two exit polls predict complete sweep for the BJP. Both the exit polls gave the BJP close to 220 seats out of the total 272 seats.
While the BJP was given between 202 to 220 seats by India Today-Axis exit poll, it gave from 23 to 35 to the Congress and between 19 and 31 seats to the AAP. The CVoter-ABP exit poll claimed the BJP was likely to sweep Delhi with 218 seats, limiting the AAP and the Congress to 24 and 22 seats.
In the meantime the Delhi Chief Minister and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal alleged reports of EVM malfunctioning were coming from all over the Capital. “Reports from all over Delhi of EVM malfunction, people wid voter slips not allowed to vote. What is SEC doing?” he tweeted. Amid the allegations of EVM tampering by Mr Kejriwal in the run-up to the MCD elections, the Election Commission said it has provided Generation-1 EVMs for the polls, describing them as “foolproof”.
There are reasons to believe that AAP will be marginalized if it fails to do well in the MCD elections. After the drubbing in Goa and Punjab assembly elections, the civic elections are doubly crucial for the Aam Aadmi Party. The party has even lost the Rajouri Garden assembly by-election days ahead of the polls. Two years ago, AAP won the state election dramatically, losing just three of Delhi’s 70 seats — all to the BJP.
Meanwhile, the BJP invested heavily in the election with almost all the leading party names campaigning in Delhi. The party paraded some of its biggest names, including Amit Shah, Smriti Irani and Rajnath Singh, and carefully recruited power players from its rivals. On the other hand, the Congress campaigning was toothless and it could do slightly better than AAP only because AAP has completely failed to create momentum for itself. Rebellion seems to have wrecked havoc with the Congress in Delhi. Just a week ahead of the polls, the party’s top leaders in Delhi Arvinder Singh Lovely and Barkha Shukla Singh joined the BJP.