Kejriwal harps on clean city theme as Delhi votes in polls

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Kejriwal harps on clean city theme as Delhi votes in polls
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal with his family after casting vote for MCD elections, at a polling booth in New Delhi on Sunday.

New Delhi - On the last day of campaigning, Kejriwal had turned rather personal.

By C P Surendran

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Published: Sun 23 Apr 2017, 9:32 PM

Last updated: Sun 23 Apr 2017, 11:36 PM

On paper, over 13.2 million Delhi voters would have cast their votes to choose councillors in 272 wards for three Delhi corporations - North, East, and South. In reality, the turnout was low during the first half of Sunday. But, as the day cooled, it registered a rise.

The voter turn out is expected to cross 46% at 4.30pm

The three main parties, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Aaam Aadmi Party (AAP), and the Congress Party are all hopeful they would emerge winners. But experts believe BJP has an edge. The results are scheduled to be announced on Wednesday.
While the North and South corporations have 104 wards each, the East ward has 64. In the last civic polls, the voter turnout was 54%. Some 2,537 candidates are in the fray this time.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal ran his party's campaign on the theme of a clean Delhi. The others followed suit. The party in power at the Municipal Corporation for close to a decade has been the BJP. The party in power in Delhi state is the AAP, and the one at the Centre again is the BJP.
Yet it is not clear why keeping Delhi clean has proven to be an elusive task. Delhi is prone to open drains and sewers, and mosquito-borne diseases. The MCD has a legendary reputation for corruption.
The civic polls come fast on the heels of by-elections in five states, most of which the BJP won. Recently, the BJP also won the Rajouri Garden by-election in Delhi, wresting it from the AAP.
"Vote against filth, vote for a dengue-free, chikungunya-free Delhi," said Arvind Kejriwal, walking out of Civil Lines polling booth early on Sunday morning. 
Kejriwal, his deputy, Manish Sisodia, and Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal were among the first voters.
Like other recent elections, the BJP has handled the Delhi civic body polls methodically. The party is looking to return to power for a third consecutive term. The party had paraded some of its biggest local names, and carefully recruited power players from its rivals. Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Uma Bharti and Smriti Irani campaigned in the different precincts of the capital.
On the last day of campaigning, Kejriwal had turned rather personal. He told voters, "If you vote BJP, then you will be responsible for dengue in your family."  The run-up to the elections has also been dominated by Kejriwal's allegations of tampered Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), a charge rejected by the Election Commission.
The electorate added 110,000 first-time voters. The three parties had been aggressively campaigning for the attention of the new voters. This will be the first time that the voters will be able to use the None of the Above or Nota option - rejecting one or all the candidates - in the Delhi municipal elections.
Whoever comes to power on Wednesday, the mosquitoes are likely to find themselves in trouble. And the losers.
Many EVMs malfunctioning, says Kejriwal
new delhi - Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said reports of EVM malfunctioning were coming from all over the capital during municipal elections. The Aam Aadmi Party leader also tweeted that people with voter slips were not being allowed to vote. "What is the SEC doing?" - IANS

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