Delhi election 2020: 62.59% voter turnout, says EC; defends delayed announcement
Photo: ANI

The final voter turnout in the Delhi polls was 62.59 per cent, senior officials said on Sunday.

"The final voter turnout was recorded at 62.59 per cent," Delhi Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh said. Singh said there is a shortfall of five per cent with respect to the previous assembly elections.

He further informed that the highest voting of 71.6 per cent was reported from the Ballimaran constituency, while the lowest turnout was in Delhi cantonment, which reported 45.4 per cent polling.

The announcement came over a day after polling concluded in the 70 constituencies of Delhi -- a delay that has prompted many including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to criticise the EC.

Chief Election Officer Ranbir Singh blamed the delay on collation of data.

""The data was being compiled at polling station level from scratch and it takes time," he said.

"Moreover this huge exercise was in continuation of sealing of strong rooms which went on till 3 a.m. The conclusive data which is reports from all 13,000 polling station and as I said starts from scratch, takes time but in case, it was not ready," the official said.

"Voter turnout data is submitted by returning officers who were busy throughout the night, then they became busy in scrutiny. It has taken a little bit of time but, in data entry, it is very important to ensure accuracy," the poll body explained.

Taking to Twitter Kejriwal had written that it was "absolutely shocking" that the Election Commission had not released poll turnout figures.

"Absolutely shocking. What is EC doing? Why are they not releasing poll turnout figures, several hours after polling?" he had written on Twitter.

AAP's Sanjay Singh too echoed him in a press conference, saying that this was perhaps a first in "our 70 year history".

"The entire media is waiting for this news, Delhi is waiting for this news, we are waiting for this news," Singh had said, adding that that it might be an indicator of the fact that some "game" was afoot."

Allaying the apprehensions of the Aam Aadmi Party over alleged transportation of EVMs in DTC buses, Singh said the EVMs in question were "reserve" one and a meeting took place at 2 p.m. on Sunday in the presence of all representatives of all political parties, following which all expressed satisfaction.

Elections to the 70-member Delhi Assembly were held on Saturday.

Exit polls predicted an easy win for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which sought to retain power on development plank, against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that ran an aggressive campaign centred around the issues of anti-CAA protests and nationalism. Exit polls also predicted that the BJP would improve its numbers, while the Congress which drew a blank in the 2015 polls, is expected to show little or no change.

(With inputs from agencies)

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