New Delhi: An impressive 64% turnout was recorded in Lok Sabha polls for the seven seats in the coluntry’s capital where BJP is seeking victory riding on ‘Modi wave’ and AAP and Congress posing a challenge by promising good governance and development.
Delhi Election Commission officials said around 64% of 1.27 crore eligible voters exercised their franchise till 6 pm and the polling percentage may go up as thousands of people are still queuing up in various areas of the city even after the deadline for voting ended.
In 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the overall voting percentage was recorded at 52.3%, which had increased to 66% in the 2013 Delhi assembly election in December last year.
The high-octane campaign for the polls saw BJP, AAP and Congress engaging in a close fight to win the seven seats — considered prestigious due to political symbolism.
The prominent contenders in the fray include Union Ministers Kapil Sibal and Krishna Tirath, Delhi BJP chief Harsh Vardhan, Congress’ Ajay Maken, Sandeep Dikshit, Rajmohan Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, journalist-turned- politician Ashutosh and BJP’s Meenakshi Lekhi.
Vice President Hamid Ansari, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal were among the early voters.
The election results is likely to set the stage for possible assembly polls in the next few months. BJP may prefer going to assembly polls early if it puts up a good show in the Lok Sabha polls.
The Lok Sabha poll mandate will also reflect AAP’s support base in Delhi amidst perceived disillusionment among middle-class voters who had helped the party to make a spectacular debut in assembly polls just five months ago.
Congress has also tried to regain its support base through a series of initiatives in the last four months following its crushing defeat in the assembly polls in which it got just 8 seats.