Delhi Assembly polls on February 8; results to be declared on Feb 11: EC

Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora. Photo: PTI
Assembly elections will be held on February 8 in Delhi which will witness a triangular contest among the ruling AAP, the BJP and the Congress.

The results will be declared on February 11, the Election Commission announced on Monday.

Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said the notification for the polls will be issued on January 14 while the last date of withdrawal of candidature will be January 24. With the issuance of the notification, the nomination process will commence.

The announcement of poll schedule comes days after parts of the city witnessed incidents of violence and protests against the amended citizenship law and the proposed countrywide National Register of Citizens.

Responding to a question on the law and order situation in the national capital, the Chief Election Commissioner said, "I won't say we (the Commission) are very sanguine, but we are hopeful that they (police) will be able to control the situation (and make it) conducive for polls." "And in any case in the polling process, if there is some kind of an extra-ordinary situation, always (there) are provisions for kind of deferring the polls. All these provisions are there. The Constitution empowers ECI to take a call if needed," he said at a press conference.

Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra was not present at the press conference as he was not in town. Arora said the poll schedule has been decided unanimously by all the three election commissioners.

In the 2015 polls, Arvind Kejriwal had led the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to an unprecedented victory with his party bagging 67 seats, leaving just three seats for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The Congress drew a blank.

Soon after the poll schedule was announced, Chief Minister Kejriwal said the AAP would seek votes on the work done by its government in the last five years.

Both the BJP and the Congress will seek to oust the AAP from power in the national capital.

BJP president Amit Shah on Monday accused the AAP government of misleading the people of Delhi for five years and said after the February 8 assembly polls, a new dispensation under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take over and accelerate development in the national capital.

Over 1.46 crore voters can exercise their franchise in the February 8 Assembly election, according to the final electoral roll published on Monday.

There are total 1,46,92,136 voters -- 80,55,686 males, 66,35,635 females and 815 belonging to third gender -- in the final voters list.

All voters will be provided QR code-enabled voters slip which will speed up voting through easy identification.
In a separate press conference earlier in the day, Delhi Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh said there were no instructions regarding registration of refugees covered under the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the electoral roll this time.

This time Delhi will have 13,659 polling stations as compared to 11,763 in 2014, a jump of 16.89 per cent, according to an EC press note.

The Commission has decided to extend the facility of postal ballot for "absentee voters", people with disability and those above 80 years of age in all 70 assembly constituencies.

In October last year, the government had amended election rules to allow "absentee voters" to vote by postal ballot.

Electors on duty in polling station, electors who are above 80 years of age and the electors marked as 'Persons with Disabilities' in the Electoral Roll will have the option to seek postal ballot paper for casting their vote.

The facility of absentee voter status was provided for the first time in the country in seven assembly constituencies in Jharkhand which went to polls recently.

For Delhi elections, the Commission will deploy 33,600 ballot units, 18,200 control units and 20,600 paper trail machines.

At least one ballot unit and one control unit make up for one electronic voting machine.



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