NEW DELHI: Authorities here are all geared up for the counting of votes polled in the Delhi municipal elections, with officials saying 42 centres have ben set up for the Wednesday exercise which will begin at 8 am amid tight security.
Delhi recorded a voter turnout of 50.48 per cent in the keenly-watched polls held on December 4, results of which may have ramifications beyond the national capital.
The election was largely touted as a three-way contest among a spirited AAP, a confident BJP and a hopeful Congress.
There are 250 wards in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and 1,349 candidates are in the fray in this election.
"We are all set for the counting of votes tomorrow for which 42 centres have been set up. Counting will take place amid tight security arrangements," a senior official of the State Election Commission told PTI.
The centres are located in areas, including, Shastri Park, Yamuna Vihar, Mayur Vihar, Nand Nagari, Dwarka, Okhla, Mangolpuri, Pitampura, Alipur and Model Town.
Tight security arrangements have been made at all the centres with 20 companies of Central Armed Police Forces and more than 10,000 police personnel deployed for the day at the centres, police officials said.
Both AAP and the BJP have exuded confidence that they will emerge victorious in the polls while the Congress is seeking to regain lost turf.
In the 2017 civic election, the BJP had won 181 of the 270 wards. Polling could not be held on two seats due to the death of candidates. The AAP had won 48 wards and the Congress 27. The voting percentage that year was around 53.
This year, the highest polling percentage (65.72) has been recorded in ward no. 5 (Bakhtawarpur), while the lowest (33.74 per cent) was registered in ward no.145 (Andrews Ganj).
Barring a few stray incidents of MCC (model code of conduct) violations and "a couple of other scattered incidents of impersonation", the polling remained peaceful and no untoward incident of any kind was reported from anywhere, the SEC said in a statement on Sunday night.
According to data shared by the SEC on Monday, 51.03 per cent of the male voters exercised their franchise while 49.83 per cent of female electorate voted in the crucial civic polls.
The figures for some of the other wards were -- Civil Lines (44.86 per cent), Chandni Chowk (44.48 per cent), Karol Bagh (44.72 per cent), Najafgarh (51.97 per cent), Rajinder Nagar (44.26 per cent), Malaviya Nagar (44.89 per cent), Greater Kailash (38.99 per cent), Laxmi Nagar (49.02 per cent).
According to data shared by the State Election Commission officials, the total number of voters in Delhi is 1,45,05,358 -- 78,93,418 males, 66,10,879 females and 1,061 transgender people.
This is the first civic election after the fresh delimitation exercise, and the poll was held days after the first phase of the Gujarat assembly elections, and a day ahead of its second phase.
Authorities had set up 13,638 polling stations across Delhi for the exercise. This was also the first civic polls held in the national capital after the February 2020 riots in Delhi, and according to data shared by officials, 3,360 booths, spanning 493 locations, were identified in critical or sensitive categories.
Sixty-eight model polling stations and as many pink polling stations were established for quality experience of voters.
There were 272 wards in Delhi and three corporations -- NDMC, SDMC and EDMC -- in Delhi from 2012-2022, before being reunified into an MCD that had formally come into existence on May 22. The erstwhile MCD, established in 1958, was trifurcated in 2012 during Sheila Dikshit's tenure as the chief minister.