11 percent voting in first 2 hours of MCD bypolls

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New Delhi, May 15: 11 per cent votes have been polled in the first two hours of the Delhi municipal bypolls as electorate queued up at several polling stations across the city braving hot weather.

Voting began this morning for the MCD bypolls to 13 wards in which over 6 lakh electorate are eligible to decide the fate of 95 candidates.

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"11 per cent votes were cast in the first two hours after beginning of voting at 8 am," Delhi State Election Commissioner Rakesh Mehta said. Most of the wards registered "low voting".

However, in some wards like Tekhand, Wazirpur, Nawada and Khichripur, voting percentage was up to 14 per cent, he said. Polling went on peacefully over all, although BJP claimed that in few polling stations in Ballimaran ward, EVMs "did not function."

"We found that two-three EVMs were not working even at around 8.30 am. The returning officer was informed about it and we demanded to increase closing time of voting to beyond 5 pm," Delhi BJP spokesman Praveen Kapoor said.

The Delhi State Election Commission office apprised that voting was low in the early morning hours. "In the early hours 9.04 per cent voting in Shalimar Bagh (North), 4 per cent in Munirka, 6.15 in Jhilmil and 9.04 per cent in Nanakpura were reported," an official of the state election commission said.

Polling began early today amid adequate security arrangement especially in north Delhi areas where the Delhi State Election Commission has identified polling stations as more sensitive than in other wards.

"Out of 695 polling stations, about 200 have been identified as sensitive and ultra-sensitive and adequate security arrangement has been made in those areas. Among the three corporations, North Corporation area has been found the most sensitive for polling," the state election commission has said.

However, no untoward incident was reported and voting was going on peacefully till reports last came in. There are a total of 6,68,870 voters entitled to exercise their franchise in the by-elections for wards falling under three corporations - SDMC (7), NDMC (4) and EDMC (2).

The 13 wards going to bypolls are -- Quamruddin Nagar, Shalimar Bagh (North), Ballimaran, Nawada, Vikas Nagar, Matiala, Nanakpura, Munirka, Bhati, Tehkhand, Khichripur, Jhilmil and Wazirpur. Voting will be held till 5 pm today. Counting of votes will be held on May 17 and begin at the counting centres established in the 13 wards from 8 am.

PTI 

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