Delhi polls: Voters in Delhi will cast their ballots on Saturday to elect legislators for 70 Assembly constituencies in the national capital. The poll-bound city saw intense election campaigning by BJP, AAP and Congress, setting the stage for a high-tension tripartite contest between the three parties.
More than 1.47 crore voters, comprising 81.05 lakh male voters, 66.8 lakh female voters, and 869 third-gender voters, are expected to exercise their electoral right across Delhi on Saturday. They will elect from 672 candidates for 70 Assembly seats. Of these, 58 are general category seats, whereas 12 are reserved for candidates from scheduled castes.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will be looking to repeat its stellar performance in 2015 Delhi elections this time around, when it got 54.3 per cent votes. Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will try to expand its vote share this year from 32 per cent it received in 2015. Congress, too, led a spirited campaign in the national capital; it had secured 9.6 per cent votes in 2015 elections.
After voting on February 8, the results for Delhi Assembly elections will be declared on February 11. The tenure of current Delhi Assembly will expire on February 22, before which the winning party will have to stake claim to form the government in the national capital.
It will be a tech-savvy polls in Delhi this year. The Election Commission (EC) will use QR code-enabled voter slip and booth application during the voting process in Delhi this year. Voters can download their digital photo voter slip from 'Voter Helpline' application available on Google Play Store and Apple's App Store.
Electors can carry smartphones at polling stations in 11 Assembly constituencies for accessing QR codes from this app in case they have not brought the voters' slip to the booth. The 11 constituencies are Sultanpur Majra, Seelampur, Ballimaran, Bijwasan, Trilokpuri, Shakur Basti, New Delhi, Rohtas Nagar, Chhatarpur, Rajouri Garden and Jangpura.
The EC has also suggested the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools to predict the queue length at polling booths through the Voter Helpline Mobile app. If executed, it will help voters decide on the best time to reach their respective polling stations for casting their votes.
Poll authorities have tightened security arrangements all over Delhi ahead of the Assembly elections. In view of the ongoing anti-CAA protests in Shaheen Bagh, the office of Delhi Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) has marked all five polling stations in the area as "critical". Confidence-building measures are also being undertaken to reassure voters. Delhi CEO Ranbir Singh reiterated that the area is under "tight vigil" and "there is no obstruction" in areas where poll activities will be conducted, so voters will face no problems.
Special Commissioner of Police (Intelligence) Praveer Ranjan had earlier informed that 190 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) will be deployed in the national capital as part of security measures. This is nearly four times the number of CAPF personnel deployed during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, he added.
There are 13,750 polling booths, besides one auxiliary booth, located at 2,689 locations across Delhi. As far as critical polling stations are concerned, there are 516 locations and 3,704 booths in that category. The critical booths will be "critical" polling booths get paramilitary cover along with police security.