NEW DELHI: Unlike the 2020 Assembly election when the Rajinder Nagar constituency witnessed a voter turnout of 58.27%, the voting for the bypoll held on Thursday recorded a poor turnout of only 43.75%. The polling took place in the shadow of the Covid pandemic.
The Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh shared the provisional voting turnout at 6 pm when the polling ended stating that the voting percentage remained low despite all the campaigns and awareness programmes run to encourage the voters. The last one hour of the election time was kept only for the Covid patients. As many as 24 Covid patients voted during this period.
The polling day began with the mock voting at 5 am while the real voting started at 7 am at 190 polling stations. A total of 1,64,698 voters were eligible to exercise their franchise in the by-election, in which 14 candidates were in the fray. Potable water supply, sewer lines, broken roads and the new liquor policy the government were among the key election issues. According to the CEO, several election procedure violations were reported in the area, with 36,390 cases of defacement being recorded since May 26.
The two major contenders Durgesh Pathak of AAP and Rajesh Bhatia of BJP exuded confidence that they would emerge victorious in the bypoll with a huge margin. The Rajinder Nagar assembly seat had fallen vacant after its incumbent MLA Raghav Chadha, of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), got elected to the Rajya Sabha from Punjab after his party stormed to power in that state.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has 62 seats in the 70-member Assembly and the BJP has eight. However, it is being said that the BJP may reclaim its stronghold in the constituency this time. Prior to 2015, BJP had won three out of four Assembly elections from the area since 1998.
Eligible voters, key election issues
A total of 1,64,698 voters were eligible to exercise their franchise in the by-election. Around 14 candidates were in the fray. Potable water supply, sewer lines, broken roads and the new liquor policy the Delhi government were among the key election issues raised by candidates during the campaign.