Delhi decided

Voters seal netas’ fate in EVMs.
Will AAP hold its fort?
Can BJP uproot Keji-raj?
Cong prays to pull off a miracle.

New Delhi: Delhi recorded a voter turnout of 61 per cent till 6 pm, even as polling at some booths was underway and the figure is likely to rise, Delhi’s Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh said on Saturday.

Polling officially ends at 6 pm. But voters, who enter polling stations till 6 pm, are allowed to cast their vote.

Singh said there were long queues at many polling booths.

Later, almost all exit polls predicted a return to power for the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), with most pollsters giving it between 50-61 seats. The BJP, which won only three seats in the 2015 elections, is poised to increase its tally and bag anywhere between 10-26 seats while Congress may secure 0-2 seats. A party needs 36 seats to form the government in Delhi.

According to the C-Voter ABP News exit poll, the AAP will win 49 to 63 seats in Delhi while the BJP is predicted to win 5 to 19 seats. Congress is poised to get 0-4 seats. The Jan Ki Baat-Republic TV exit poll has predicted 48-61 seats for AAP, 9-21 for the BJP and 0-1 for the Congress.

The Ipsos-Times Now exit poll has predicted 44 seats for AAP and 26 for the BJP. Coming to the NewsX-Neta exit poll, AAP is slated to win anywhere between 53-57 seats, BJP 11-17 and Congress 0-2. The exit poll conducted by TV9- Cicero has given 54 seats to the AAP, 15 seats to BJP and one seat to Congress, which drew a blank in the 2015 Assembly polls.

While AAP pivoted its campaign around the five years of work done by the Kejriwal government in the field of utilities, health, and education, BJP made the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests at Shaheen Bagh its main campaign issue. Two shootings at Jamia and Shaheen Bagh and provocative sloganeering by some BJP leaders, which earned the ire of the Election Commission, also marred the poll narrative.

Congress, which ruled Delhi for three terms from 1998 to 2013 with Sheila Dikshit at the helm, campaigned around the development work that happened during the late CM’s tenure.

In the 2015 elections, AAP won a record 67 seats, bagging 54 per cent of the vote share. However, it finished third in five of the seven seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, dropping to 18 per cent of the votes and winning no seat.

Meanwhile, BJP bagged only 3 seats while Congress failed to open its account in the 2015 elections. While the BJP secured 32 per cent of the vote share, Congress bagged just 9.6 per cent.

Women agitators vote in batches in Shaheen Bagh

On a sit-in for over a month against CAA, women protesters at Shaheen Bagh voted in batches on Saturday so that the agitation remains unaffected. While some of the women voted in the morning, others chose to get their fingers inked in the afternoon and the remaining in the evening. Mehzabeen Qureshi, who returned to the protest site after voting said, “I stayed at home to let other women in the house go out and vote. Now I have joined them here at Shaheen Bagh after voting.”

highest turnout at three minority dominated seats

The three minority-dominated seats of Mustafabad, Matia Mahal and Seelampur recorded the highest voter turnout, election officials said. According to the data shared by the officials, Mustafabad in northeast Delhi recorded 66.29 per cent voter turnout till 5 pm. Matia Mahal in old Delhi, the area that saw anti-CAA protests, recorded voter turnout of 65.62 per cent. Seelampur, another minority seat in northeast Delhi, recorded 64.92 per cent voting.

Amit Shah calls meeting of Delhi BJP MPs amid poor show

Home MInister Amit Shah has summoned the parliamentarians of the party for a meeting this evening, as exit polls predicted a victory for Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party in the Delhi assembly elections. Sources said party chief JP Nadda and his lieutenants will also be present in the meeting.

A poll of exit polls this evening predicted that AAP will win Delhi with around 52 seats. The BJP, which got three seats in 2015, is likely to improve its tally to around 15 seats.

That, however, is unlikely to meet the expectations of the party, which had pulled all stops and pressed into service all its key leaders.

Around 240 parliamentarians, 70 union ministers and several Chief Ministers have campaigned in the city for days, and camped out with the voters at nights. Mr Shah had knocked on voters’ doors in person.

Its union ministers were instructed to focus on “nukkad (street corner) meetings” — gatherings of 200 or 300 people. Around 10,000 small meetings were held over the 20-day period.

State BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, however, posted a chirpy tweet, predicting the party’s victory.

“All these exit polls will fail. Please save this tweet from me. The BJP will form government in the city with 48 seats. Please do not look for excuses and blame the EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines),” his tweet read.