POLLING: 65.64 % in the West Delhi parliamentary constituency.
A group of youngsters is sitting on a charpoy with two sets of files around 100 metres away from the primary school in Mundhela Kalan village on the outskirts of West Delhi. With no saffron topi or the saffron coloured umbrella – the sign of the BJP help desks outside polling booth across the city – above their head, it makes it difficult to even comprehend they are party supporters distributing polling slips to the workers, until one odd villager asked for the slip.
When asked where are the help desks of the other political parties, the group speaks in chorus: “Woh to subah se hi nahin hain .. Ek Congress wala baitha tha, woh bhi chala gaya (Nobody is here since morning... there was one Congress worker around, but even he has left).
Similar scenes, wherein help desks of other two contenders -- the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party -- were non-existent, were witnessed in several villages in the rural belt of the West Delhi parliamentary constituency on Thursday.
A steady stream of voters could be seen at the polling booths right from morning when voting started. In areas dominated by unauthorised colonies and jhuggi clusters like Uttam Nagar, Vikaspuri, Janakpuri, Dwarka and Matiala around 25-30 per cent of the voters had cast their votes by noon.
While in the rural belt, the balance appeared to be tilted in favour of the BJP, the voters in the unauthorised colonies and JJ clusters – traditional strongholds of the Congress -- continued to show their confidence in the Aam Aadmi Party. Having fielded a Sikh candidate in West Delhi, the party also seemed to be a favourite in the Sikh dominated Tilak Nagar, Hari Nagar and Rajouri Garden areas.
“There has been some influence of the Shiromani Akali Dal, but the Sikhs are largely voting for the AAP,” says Shurbir Singh, a sexagenarian in Chowkhandi, Tilak Nagar.