A voter turnout of 50% was recorded till 5.30 pm as polling for the high-stakes Municipal Corporation of Delhi election ended in the national capital on Sunday, PTI reported.

Officials said that the polling percentage is likely to go up as some voters reported just before 5.30 pm, the stipulated time for voting to end.

In the elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party is hoping to extend its 15-year reign at the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, while the Aam Aadmi Party is hoping to repeat the success that it achieved in the 2020 Assembly poll in the national capital.

The Congress is fighting to regain relevance in Delhi, where it has been seeing a decline since the emergence of the Arvind Kejriwal-led party.

Over 1.45 crore citizens were eligible to vote in the city’s 250 wards. The results will be announced on December 7.

On Sunday, AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal urged citizens to vote for a “clean and beautiful Delhi” and to ensure honest governance in the municipal corporation.

“Do not vote for those who spread garbage in Delhi,” he said. “Vote for those who will make Delhi shine, and make it clean.”

Kejriwal’s deputy Manish Sisodia accused the BJP of not doing anything in Delhi for the last 15 years. He urged citizens to cast their votes for a clean and garbage-free city.

Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta urged citizens to vote for a “development-oriented government” and to ensure progress in the national capital.

Party MP Parvesh Verma said that the AAP had claimed to be in a position to form the government in Goa, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh as well, but that it had a habit of lying, ANI reported.

“During Covid, no one from AAP was seen working for the people,” he said. “Only MCD workers were standing with people. We’re getting around 210 seats out of 250 in the MCD polls.”

Meanwhile, Delhi Congress chief Anil Chaudhary said he was unable to cast his vote as his name was missing from the voters’ list, reported The Indian Express.

“I am at the polling centre where I had come to vote, but the officials told me that my vote has been shifted. However, they did not disclose where my vote has been shifted,” Chaudhary said. “I have registered a complaint with the Election Commission as well and was informed that I will not be able to cast my vote.”

An Election Commission official, however, told The Indian Express that Chaudhary might not have been at his house when a survey was conducted to identify voters living in the area.

First poll since merger

This was the first time that civic elections were held in the capital since the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, South Delhi Municipal Corporation and East Delhi Municipal Corporation were merged in May.

After the merger, there were 272 seats in the civic body. However, the number of wards was subsequently reduced to 250.

About 1 lakh polling officials, over 100 companies of central armed police forces and 50,000 personnel of the Delhi Police managed the voting process, the Hindustan Times reported.

The elections will decide the fate of more than 1,300 candidates. The BJP and AAP are fighting on all wards, while the Congress has put in candidates in 247 places.

In the civic elections in 2017, the BJP won 181 out of 270 wards, while the AAP won 48 wards. The Congress had emerged victorious in 27 places. Elections were not held in two places due to the deaths of Samajwadi Party candidates.

Also read:

‘If you riot, you will win’: North East Delhi is headed for municipal polls with 2020 wounds fresh