NEW DELHI: Voters were again back at polling stations across Delhi Saturday over a year after they delivered a fractured mandate. This time around, the BJP and the AAP have appealed for a majority vote.
People slowly began turning up at polling booths in urban and rural areas as ballotting began at 8 a.m. for the 70-member Delhi assembly.
"It is out duty and responsibility to vote, so we are here to exercise our franchise," Rajendra Sharma, one of the early voters from east Delhi's Laxmi Nagar, told IANS.
Revathi Rao, a resident of Gulmohar Park in south Delhi, said that there were barely three people when she turned up to vote at the polling booth.
However at a polling booth located in a government school in Pandav Nagar in east Delhi, voters queued even before voting started.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday urged the voters in Delhi to exercise their franchise in large numbers in the assembly polls.
"As Delhi votes today (Saturday), urging voters to go out and vote in large numbers," the prime minister tweeted.
"I particularly call upon my young friends to vote in record numbers," another tweet said.
According to the Delhi election commission, 5.7 percent votes were polled till 9 a.m.
The main electoral battle is between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), while the Congress is trying to retain its tally of eight seats.
BJP's chief ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi said she is "looking forward to formation of a new Delhi". The BJP had last time won 31 seats.
AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal tweeted Saturday, appealing to people to vote. AAP had won 28 seats in the 2013 election and went on to form the government in Delhi. They quit after 49 days in power.
Congress leader Ajay Maken said he was confident about the performance of his party.
"We have confined ourselves in raising real issues. Unlike other parties we have not resorted to petty politics. Congress can deliver its promises in Delhi," he said.
Over 13.3 million voters are eligible to cast their ballot in a contest that has 673 candidates.
A total of 11,763 polling booths have been set up across Delhi.