New Delhi: Delhi will have elections to its 70-member Assembly on February 8 and the results will be declared on February 11. Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said the notification for the polls will be issued on January 14 while the last date of withdrawal of candidature will be January 24. The model code of conduct is already in place.
The Delhi election is likely to witness a three-cornered contest involving the ruling Aam Aadmi Party, the BJP and the Congress. In the 2015 polls, Arvind Kejriwal had led the AAP to a unprecedented victory with his party bagging 67 seats, leaving just three seats for the BJP.
Over 14.6 million voters can exercise their franchise in the election in Delhi. There are a total of 146,92,136 voters (80,55,686 males, 66,35,635 females and 815 belonging to third gender) in the final voters list.
As compared to the final voters list in 2019, the number of voters in Delhi has increased by 0.99 million in the final roll of 2020 (up to January 1). The ruling AAP, before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, had alleged deletion of names of voters belonging to various communities from the list at the behest of the BJP.
There are 13,750 polling booths located at 2,689 locations across Delhi.
The announcement of the poll schedule comes days after parts of the city witnessed incidents of violence and protests against the amended citizenship law and the proposed countrywide National Register of Citizens.
Responding to a question on the law and order situation in the national capital, the Chief Election Commissioner said, “I won’t say we are very sanguine, but we are hopeful that the police will be able to control the situation and make it conducive for polls. And in any case in the polling process, if there is some kind of an extraordinary situation, there are always provisions for deferring the polls. The Constitution empowers ECI to take a call if needed.”
Just before the announcement of the poll dates and before the model code of cconduct kicked in, BJP president Amit Shah at an event in Delhi accused the AAP government of misleading the people of Delhi for five years and said after the assembly polls, a new dispensation under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take over and accelerate development in the national capital.
Soon after the announcement of the poll dates, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “Vote for us if you feel we have worked for Delhi, otherwise don’t. Schools are in a better condition, there is better access to water. We have done a lot of work, all this will stop if you vote for another party. This time the elections will be based on performance. We have run a positive campaign.”
Union minister and senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar said, “We welcome the Election Commission’s announcement of the poll schedule. Delhiites have been waiting to vote out a government that lies. Delhi can witness development under the BJP. Many Central schemes have not implemented by AAP, like the PM Awaas Yojana. They have deceived people, but now Kejriwal’s time is about to end. Kejriwal has failed. People are with the BJP. We are confident of winning the Delhi polls.”