Nearly 4 lakh more voters exercised their franchise during the Lok Sabha polls held in Delhi on Thursday compared with the 2013 Delhi Assembly elections. “In absolute numbers, the turnout was even higher than the Delhi Assembly polls,” said Chief Electoral Officer Vijay Dev. The city saw a 65.09 per cent voter turnout, while the figure was 51.81 per cent during the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.
Mr. Dev, however, warned against making comparisons between the Assembly elections and Parliamentary elections calling it comparisons between “apples” and “oranges”. Yet, he acknowledged the various efforts made to woo voters since December. “Credit goes only to the citizens of Delhi for coming out to vote. We have acted as catalysts,” he said. “The awareness methods, multi-media campaigns, community outreach programmes and campaigns to make the electoral process a festival have all paid off,” he added.
Just as political parties competed for space on bus shelters and Metro trains in the city, the Delhi Election Office in the months leading up to the polls, advertised on Metro trains, newspapers and through radio jingles urging people to vote on April 10. “The response from first time voters has been very enthusiastic and they have been the engines of change and getting around the problem of urban apathy,” said Mr. Dev.
Referring to the arrangements made for voters with disabilities, he said that the efforts were widely appreciated by voters and these will be replicated at a national level. “The popular experiment of model polling stations which was scaled up from 9 during the Delhi Assembly polls to 70 locations now will also be institutionalised and replicated,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chandni Chowk that saw a triangular fight between the BJP’s Harsh Vardhan, sitting Congress MP Kapil Sibal and the AAP’s Ashutosh saw the highest polling here, while New Delhi was the parliamentary constituency with the highest voter turnout in 2009.
The North-West (reserved) seat saw the lowest polling percentage on Thursday at 61.66 per cent, the South parliamentary constituency which saw lowest polling of 47.14 per cent in 2009 had an impressive turnout of 62.98 per cent this time.