Delhi reports 21 per cent polling till noon

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New Delhi, Nov 29 (UNI) Polling in 69 of the 70 Assembly constituencies in Delhi picked up pace as the day progressed, and a voter turnout of 21 per cent was recorded till noon.

In Patparganj constituency in East Delhi, about 21 per cent of voters turned up to cast their votes, while 22 per cent each voter turnout was recorded in Moti Nagar and Shahdara segments, Electoral Office sources said.

A large number of voters were witnessed in Kalyanpuri and Shahdara, while posh areas like Kailash colony and Greater Kailash showed less turnout.

At several booths, enthusiastic voters from all age-groups queued up at the polling booths since morning to exercise their franchise.

Youngsters, mostly first-time voters, were pretty excited to be part of the election process and several elderly persons were also seen waiting patiently for their turn.

An 82-year-old voter was seen at a booth in Ambedkarnagar with her great granddaughter.

Manorama, another disabled elderly woman too was seen being helped by the policemen at her polling booth in Kalyanpuri.

However, there were reports of several voters going back without being able to vote as their names were missing in the electoral rolls.

Among the early voters were Vice President Hamid Ansari, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and BJP's Chief Ministerial candidate V K Malhotra.

Congress general Secretary Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka too were among the early voters at the Aurangzeb road polling station.

Twelve people were, meanwhile, wounded when Congress and NCP workers clashed in galli number 13 of Khayala in Rajouri Garden constituency in West Delhi.

The clash broke out around 0630 hrs, when workers of both the parties were doing their rounds to urge voters to cast votes, sources said.

The fate of 863 candidates in the fray, including 352 independents, will be sealed in today's polling, in which 10.05 million voters, including 4.7 million women, are eligible to participate.

Elaborate security arrangements had been made to ensure peaceful polling. Over 51,000 security personnel had been deployed across the 69 constituencies.

Today's polling will decide if the BJP will be able to end the Congress' ten-year reign in Delhi, or Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit will succeed in steering her party to power for a third consecutive term.

Besides Ms Dikshit and Mr Malhotra, today's election will decide the fate of ministers A K Walia, Arvinder Singh Lovely, Yoganand Shastri and Raj Kumar Chouhan, Delhi BJP chief Harsh Vardhan and Leader of the Opposition Jagdish Mukhi, among others.

At the last hustings in 2003, the Congress had a tally of 47 and the BJP 20 in the 70-member house.

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