Final Delhi polls turnout at 62.59%; EC says needed time for accuracy

PTI, Feb 10, 2020, 10:07 AM IST

New Delhi: The final voter turnout in Delhi assembly polls was 62.59 per cent, five per cent less than 2015, the Election Commission announced on Sunday evening nearly 24 hours after the polling ended, while the Aam Aadmi Party questioned the “delay”.

Delhi Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh, however, said there was no unusual delay in announcing the final voter turnout as the returning officers were busy with scrutiny of data to ensure its accuracy.

After elections to the 70-member Delhi Assembly were held on Saturday, poll officials had said that there was a turnout of 61.46 per cent, subject to revision.

However, as there was no final word from the EC till 4 pm on Sunday, AAP chief and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal took to Twitter saying it was “absolutely shocking” that the poll panel was not coming out with the voting figures.

“What is EC doing? Why are they not releasing poll turnout figures, several hours after polling?” Kejriwal tweeted.

The Aam Aadmi Party said the delay was suspicious and asked if the poll panel was waiting for BJP office’s nod.

“BJP leaders are giving the voter turnout figures and on the other hand the Election Commission has not been able to give the final voting percentage 24 hours after polling got over,” Kejriwal’s deputy and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia asked

AAP leader Sanjay Singh alleged at a press conference that “something is cooking” and “a game is being played secretly”.

“This is perhaps the first time in the 70-year history of country that the Election Commission is not ready to release the final figure of voter turnout. The entire country and Delhi have been waiting for the polling percentage since yesterday,” he said.

At a press conference held at 7.15 pm on Sunday, Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh said the final voter turnout was 62.59 per cent.

In the 2015 Assembly polls, Delhi had recorded a voter turnout of 67.47 per cent.

The highest voting of 71.6 per cent was reported from Ballimaran constituency, while the lowest turnout was in Delhi cantonment at 45.4 per cent, Singh said.

He tried to allay fears over the delay in releasing the final voting figures, saying “they did not want to speculate and wanted to give exact figures”.

“So, returning officers worked throughout the night to check data to ensure it is accurate,” Singh said, while asserting that the delay was not unusual and the compilation was done in good time.

He said there were more than 13,700 polling stations in the national capital and they had to add data from each station and ensure that every vote is accounted for.

“It is not matter of late or early as soon as the voting per cent was finalised, it was shared with the public,” he said.

Exit polls on Saturday predicted an easy win for the AAP against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress.

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