New Delhi: The national capital registered its highest-ever voter turnout of 65.86 percent in the keenly contested Assembly polls with men and women coming out in almost equal numbers to vote.
Delhi`s Election Commission today said out of 1.19 crore eligible voters, over 78.1 lakh people exercised their franchise yesterday. The number of first-time eligible voters is 4.05 lakh.
In 2008 Assembly polls, the overall voting percentage was 57.58 while in 1993, it was 61.75 percent.
As high as 65.78 percent men and 65.17 percent women cast their ballot in the three-cornered contest among Congress, BJP and debutant Aam Aadmi Party.
Moreover, a record number of 43,015 postal ballot by government official on poll duty was also cast in the election, whereas this figure was meagre 1,600 in the 2008 Assembly polls.
Of 562 people in other (transgender) category, 206 cast vote.
The highest turnout was recorded in the Seemapuri seat (72.19 percent), while the lowest polling was in Rajendra Nagar with 59.67 percent.
Among the nine districts, the highest turnout of 68.48 percent was recorded in North-East, while the lowest polling was recorded in North West district with 63.25 percent.
In an unprecedented exercise, voting went on till 9.30 PM --four-and-a-half hours past the 5 PM voting deadline--when the last ballot was cast by waiting voters in a booth in Okhla Assembly segment.
The stunning voter turnout that shattered the previous highest of 61.75 percent in the first elections to the state Assembly in 1993 saw voting hours being extended in several polling booths beyond the closing time of 5 PM as around 1.7 lakh voters were still waiting in winding queues.
"It was an incident-free election, although a few cases of minor scuffle were reported from some areas. Model Code of Conduct was strictly implemented to provide a level playing field to all political parties," Delhi`s Chief Electoral Officer Vijay Dev said.
For peaceful conduct of elections, 32,801 personnel of Delhi Police and 11,000 home guards, besides 10,700 central paramilitary force personnel were deployed.
A total of 810 candidates are in the fray. Counting of votes is scheduled to take place on December 8.
While BJP fielded candidates in 66 constituencies, Congress and AAP contested in all the 70 seats. BSP, the third largest party in last Assembly election, fielded candidates in 69 seats, NCP in nine and Samajwadi Party in 27 seats. A total of 224 independents were also in the fray.
Election Commission-appointed teams had also made a record seizure of Rs 1.64 crore cash and 41,000 liquor bottles and registered 21 cases of paid news.
According to the data compiled by the Election Expenditure Monitoring Centre of the Income Tax department, other inducements (sarees, gifts) worth Rs 4.40 lakh were seized by the EC-appointed flying squads and surveillance teams.
In all, 210 flying squad teams, 210 static surveillance teams and 18 expenditure observers were deployed in the state by the EC as part of its measures to curb and check illegal money power being used in the run-up to the polls.
Seventy-seven cases were registered by I-T department and other tax authorities for violation of expenditure norms set by the EC.
Five hundred and ninety six excise raids were conducted during the polls, the data said.