Monday, February 26, 2024

Drones, cops and crores of voters: Action time in high-stake MCD polls

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As Delhiites brace for civic elections, the first such exercise after the merger of three civic bodies, AAP appeared confident to wrest power from the BJP, even as the saffron party said it would gain control of the body for the fourth consecutive time. The high stakes involved in the poll battle were in evidence: poll authorities on Saturday directed the police to take necessary action and “lodge an FIR” for alleged violation of the model code of conduct during an event organised by AAP.

Around 40,000 Delhi Police personnel, 20,000 home guards and 108 companies of Central Armed Police Forces and SAP have been deployed. Sixty drones will also be used to ensure law and order. Nearly 1.45 crore eligible voters will vote to choose their representatives for 250 wards of the national capital.The law enforcement agencies and State Election Commission (SEC) claim to have made adequate arrangements for peaceful voting in the city. The voting will start at 8 am and end at 5:30 pm.

The counting of votes is due December 7. The SEC has set up 13,638 polling stations across Delhi for the exercise where a total number of 1,45,05,358 voters, 78,93,418 males, 66,10,879 females and 1,061 transgender persons, will cast their votes.

The SEC’s main objective is to increase the voting percentage; in 2017, it was only 53%. Although it seems to be a three-way contest between BJP, AAP and Congress, candidates of regional parties and independents have made the battle interesting on almost all seats. BJP leaders held over 200 public meetings and road shows. AAP conducted foot marches in all 250 wards while Congress held programmes in almost every part of the city.

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