The Election Commission on Sunday said the final voter turnout in the Assembly elections held in Delhi on Saturday was 62.59%, reported ANI. The statement from the poll body came over 24 hours after voting ended.
The Election Commission said the voter turnout among women was 62.55% and that among men was 62.62%. Delhi Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh said it took time to finalise the data but it was “very important to ensure accuracy”. “Voter turnout data is submitted by returning officers who were busy throughout the night, then they became busy in scrutiny,” Singh said.
The highest voter turnout of 71.6% was recorded in Ballimaran constituency, and the lowest was in the Delhi cantonment area, where it was 45.4%. The poll body said the turnout was two percentage points higher than in the Lok Sabha elections.
Okhla constituency, which includes the Shaheen Bagh locality, saw a voter turnout of 58.8%, the Election Commission said. The neighbourhood has become the epicentre of protests against the amended citizenship law and the proposed National Register of Citizens. Hundreds of women have been peacefully protesting there since December 15. The Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch in the Capital has been closed after protestors began the sit-in.
The poll body’s announcement came hours after the Aam Aadmi Party criticised it for delaying the release of the official figures. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said it was “shocking” and questioned the electoral body’s method of functioning.
In a press conference, AAP leader Sanjay Singh alleged there was something suspicious that caused the delay. “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.”
The poll body responded to the party’s allegations about tampering with electronic voting machines, reported NDTV. The party had on Saturday released two videos, claiming that some of the EVMs that should have been taken to the strong room were still with officials.
“These machines were kept in reserve and were not used for polling,” Ranbir Singh said. “The machine was then locked in a room in the presence of polling agents of two political parties. The machine was examined amid presence of all stakeholders and they were shown relevant documents.”
Several exit polls predicted that the AAP would comfortably retain its majority in the Assembly. The majority mark is 36. An aggregate of five exit polls showed that the AAP will win 56 out of the 70 seats – 11 fewer than it won in 2015. They also predicted a dismal outcome for the Congress, which did not manage to win a single seat in the last elections. Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party has rejected the exit poll predictions.