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Over 55 percent turnout in Delhi civic polls

New Delhi: The civic polls on Sunday in the national capital saw a peaceful voting with an estimated 55 percent voter turnout – the highest in 15 years.

The fate of the 2,423 candidates, who are in the fray for 272 municipal wards, will be announced Tuesday.

“People have voted with a lot of enthusiasm and the turnout has been impressive this time. There is a strong possibility of the voting percentage crossing 60 percent,” state election commissioner Rakesh Mehta told reporters.

“If all goes well this will be the record highest voter turnout in MCD elections,” Mehta told IANS.

In 1997, 51 percent polling was registered, he said.

Starting on a sluggish note at 8 am, the polling picked up after 4 pm and extended a little beyond its scheduled time of 5.30 pm.

The highest voting was registered in east Delhi, while south Delhi, which houses the rich and famous, saw the least.

With 30,000 armed police personnel stationed across 11,543 booths, the polling was peaceful across the capital.

“The elections were very peaceful and there was no law and order issue. All the arrangements were in place…no re-polling will be taking place,” said an elated Mehta.

People queued up outside booths across the capital to vote for elections to the newly trifurcated MCD for better civic amenities in the newly formed corporations of east, north and south which till now was one single body.

The highlight of this year’s election was that 50 percent seats were reserved for women. While the Congress had put up 142 women out of its 271 candidates, the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had fielded 139 women out of the total of 271.

While sanitation and development remained key issues for the civic polls, people in two villages in west and north Delhi boycotted polls citing poor development in their areas in the last many years.

There were, however, reports of technical snags.

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