The BJP took lead on 182 out of 270 wards an hour after counting of votes for the MCD elections began on Wednesday morning across 35 centres in the Capital. The trends seemed to be in line with Sunday’s exit poll results that had predicted a huge win for the BJP in the civic polls.
The result updates are being relayed from the Delhi State Election Commission office in Kashmere Gate. Large screens have been installed at the SEC office to display the updates. Though the final results will be announced after 5pm, a decisive picture is expected to emerge by 2pm. The polls saw a voter turnout of 53.58 per cent, only a notch higher than the 2012 MCD elections.
The scene outside counting centre at Khichripur in Delhi. (Sushil Kumar / HT Photo)
Over 90,000 security personnel belonging to Delhi Police, paramilitary forces and the Home Guards have been deployed to keep a watch at the counting centres.
All the three key contenders – BJP, Congress and AAP – have expressed confidence that the mandate will be in their favour. Exit polls,though, indicated a huge win for the BJP with the AAP coming at a distant second position. AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal, meanwhile, said that the party will launch a ‘movement’ if the exit poll results turned out to be true.
The results are being seen as a verdict on the parties and are expected to set the tone for them beyond the Capital as well nationwide. The polls to Delhi’s civic bodies were held in the backdrop of EVM tampering claims by the AAP. The party had also sought postponing the elections till voting machines with paper trail are put in place.