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Stage set for vote count in Delhi

Delhi Elections

New Delhi: Counting of votes for the high-profile Delhi Assembly polls in which BJP and AAP are locked in a direct fight will be taken up tomorrow and final results are likely to be available by 1 PM.

Delhi Election Commission has made elaborate arrangements for counting of the ballots which will take place in 14 Centres across the city under tight security.

“Counting of votes will start at 8 AM and all the results should be out by 1 PM,” an Election Commission official said.

The battle to win control over the city saw a resurgent Aam Aadmi Party giving a tough fight to the BJP.

All the exit polls have given AAP a decisive edge over BJP with one of them giving it as high as 53 seats in the 70-member House.

The BJP has rejected the exit polls and exuded confidence of wresting power in Delhi after a gap of 16 years. The party yesterday said it would get 34-38 seats.

A record 67.14 per cent turnout was recorded in the polls on Saturday in which a total of 673 candidates.

Polling had taken place at 12,177 polling stations, of which 714 have been identified as “critical”. Of these, 191 are “highly critical”.

The BJP, which is out of power in Delhi for the last 16 years, made a gamble by bringing in former Team Anna member Kiran Bedi into the party and made her its Chief Ministerial candidate which is said to have triggered discontent among the party leaders and rank and file.

The BJP strategy has been countered by Kejriwal-led AAP which has put up a spirited campaign in a bid to stop the Modi juggernaut that has been on a roll ever since the Lok Sabha election victory in May last year.

The Congress, which had ruled Delhi for 15 years till December, 2013 has been projected to get at most five seats.

The Burari constituency in North Delhi has a maximum of 18 candidates while the Ambedkar Nagar seat in South Delhi has the lowest number of contenders at four.

There are 63 contesting women candidates in this election as against 71 in 2013.

The number of candidates from recognised national and state parties is 296 while 183 candidates belong to registered parties and there are 194 Independent nominees.

Counting of votes will take place in ITI Nand Nagri, Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology, Dwarka Sector 3, Integrated Institute of Technology Dwarka, Sector-9, Veer Sawarkar Training Centre, Pusa, NP Girls Middle School, Gole Market, NP Girls Senior Secondary School, Gole Market and Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya Raj Niwas Marg.

Votes will also be counted in Shaheed Ameer Chand Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya, Raj Niwas Marg, Jija Bai Industrial Training Institute for Women, August Kranti Marg, Badminton Hall, CWG Sports Complex and Delhi Technological University Campus, Shahbad Daulat Pur.

The assembly election, held for the second time in little over one year, has been largely a direct contest between BJP and a resurgent AAP which has put up a tough fight under Arvind Kejriwal’s leadership.

The BJP strongly rejected the exit poll findings predicting an AAP victory and said it was confident of winning the polls.

With exit polls predicting a clear victory for AAP, the party yesterday had a meeting of its top leaders where the possible political situation in the city was discussed.

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