Delhi polls on Feb. 8, counting of votes on Feb. 11

Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora.

Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora.   | Photo Credit: V.V. Krishnan

Delhi has 70 constituencies and the term of the sitting Legislative Assembly ends on February 22.

Elections to the 70-member Delhi Legislative Assembly would be held on February 8 and the votes counted on February 11, the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced on Monday.

At a press conference at the ECI headquarters here, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora (CEC) said the poll notification would be issued on January 14. The last date for filing of nominations is January 21, their scrutiny on January 22 and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is January 24.

Mr. Arora said 1,47,03,692 electors – 1,46,92,136 general category and 11,556 service voters – were eligible to vote in the polls to be held at 13,750 polling stations.

Mr. Arora said ECI officials and the Commission itself had held meetings with officials of the Delhi Police, the Delhi government and the Ministry of Home Affairs. Asked about the prevailing law and order situation, with protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and violence breaking out, he said: “We are hopeful that they will be able to control the situation”. If an “extraordinary situation” arose in the polling process, the ECI had the option of deferring elections.

Mr. Arora said the Model Code of Conduct had come into effect as he was speaking at the press conference. With the Union Budget usually tabled in Parliament on February 1, Mr. Arora said a 2017 ruling of the ECI regarding state-specific announcements would apply. “No state-specific schemes” or “achievements” can be announced in the Budget.

Like in the recently held Jharkhand Assembly elections, where a pilot was carried out in seven constituencies, postal ballot facilities would be provided to persons with disabilities and senior citizens over the age of 80 in select constituencies in Delhi as well, he said, adding that one seat each in the 11 districts would be chosen.

On voter turnout, he said: “Ironically, the turnout in Left-wing extremism-affected areas in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh has been far more than some of the toniest constituencies of Delhi”.

The term of the existing Delhi Assembly expires on February 22. The Aam Aadmi Party had swept the 2015 elections, winning 67 out of the 70 seats. The BJP had won three seats and the Congress, which had been in power from 1998 till 2013, got nil.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 11:12:50 PM |

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