The highlight of polling in the North-East Lok Sabha constituency was poor deployment of workers and logistics by the Congress to facilitate voting by its supporters at several polling stations. On the other hand, workers of the Aam Aadmi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party were seen sitting with all their paraphernalia at almost each polling station this reporter visited.

However, BJP workers were found absent at several polling stations in the minority segments of the constituency like Seemapuri, Baburpur and Maujpur. Wherever they were present, attendance before their tables remained thin.

Coming out of a polling station at Maujpur Assembly, a voter said the area residents had decided to give the jhadu a chance. However, the preference of three young women voters at the same booth was the Congress. Old members of the community seemed to support Congress, while the young favoured the AAP.

But the scene was different in the middle class-dominated areas of the constituency. BJP workers were all over the place to ensure maximum polling. AAP workers were also there, but the crowd in front of their tables was less than the crowd at the BJP tables. Against popular perception, voters seemed polarised not only along their identities, but also along classes, and issues like corruption and governance.

Of course, some voters talked about putting BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in the saddle, while others rationalised their choice for the AAP saying they wanted to give the new entrant a fair chance as credentials of other parties have been tested.

At several polling stations in the slum colonies, young voters talked about their preference for the ‘broom’ over the ‘hand’ or the ‘lotus’.

“The ‘broom’ will sweep clean here,” said three youths standing outside a polling station at Sanjay Basti under the Teemarpur Assembly constituency.

Polling began on a dull note and remained so till noon. It picked up later and several polling stations, particularly in the minority-dominated areas and slum clusters, recorded 50 per cent polling by 3 p.m. Long queues outside the polling stations seen in the 2013 Delhi Assembly elections were absent this time. It might have something to do with extension of polling time by two hours.

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