Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday expressed shock at the delay in the Election Commission’s announcement of the final voter turnout for the elections held in the national Capital on Saturday. Most exit polls on Saturday predicted the Aam Aadmi Party’s win with a sweeping majority.
“Absolutely shocking,” Kejriwal tweeted. “What is EC [Election Commission] doing? Why are they not releasing poll turnout figures, several hours after polling?” Voting for the Assembly elections ended at 6 pm on Saturday but the poll body is yet to proclaim the exact number that showed up to vote.
The information is usually made public soon after voting ends. However, the election body had released a provisional figure of 61.43% at the end of the day. This figure is significantly lower than the turnout during the 2015 elections, recorded at 67.13%.
“I think this is the first time in the history of elections in India...even after Lok Sabha elections, the figures are released on the same day,” said AAP leader Sanjay Singh. “This is the first time in 70 years of our history that the poll body is not ready to divulge the exact voter turnout figures. This means that something is going on...some kind of game is going on.”
Singh highlighted that it was an easy task to declare the figures as there are only 70 constituencies in Delhi. “Why has there been no official statement [from the Election Commission]?” he asked.
In the last Assembly elections in 2015, the AAP won 67 of 70 seats in an unprecedented sweep.
According to exit polls announced on Saturday evening, the Times Now-IPSOS survey predicted 44 seats for the Arvind Kejriwal-led party while the Bharatiya Janata Party was predicted to improve its 2015 tally and win 26 constituencies. According to ABP News-C Voter, the AAP may win 49 to 63 seats while the BJP may get anything between five to 19 seats. Republic TV-Jan Ki Baat survey gave the ruling party 48 to 61 seats, and the BJP nine to 21 constituencies. The TV9 Bharatvarsh-Cicero poll predicted 54 seats for Kejriwal’s party, and 15 for the saffron outfit. The India Today-Axis exit poll said AAP would sweep the elections, winning 59 to 68 seats, while the BJP would bag two to 11 constituencies.
On Sunday, the saffron party dismissed exit poll predictions with BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi saying, “exit polls don’t have their math right”. The party’s Delhi unit chief Manoj Tiwari also rejected the exit polls, saying the AAP would fail on February 11, when results are declared.