RIDING on tech-savvy elements like QR codes and mobile apps, poll authorities have geared up for the elections to the 70-member Delhi Assembly on Saturday, making tight security arrangements across the national capital and keeping an extra vigil in Shaheen Bagh and other sensitive polling areas.
Over 1.47 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the electoral battle for Delhi, which is largely being seen as a triangular contest among the ruling AAP, a spirited Congress and the Opposition BJP which has campaigned very aggressively ahead of the election.
Delhi Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh said all EVMs have been tested and they are “foolproof and non-tamperable”.
Security personnel kept guard at strong rooms storing EVMs. Election staff during the day carried EVMs and other polling material to booths under tight supervision in all constituencies.
“After getting polling material, a large number of polling stations have already been set up, and soon all will be done. Model polling stations will be spread across 70 locations, one in each constituency. Each of these 70 locations will also have ‘pink booths’,” he said. Pink booths are those which are manned completely by women staff.
In view of the ongoing anti-Citizenship Law protest in Shaheen Bagh, the Delhi CEO’s Office has put all five polling stations in the area under the “critical” category, and confidence-building measures are continuously being undertaken to reassure voters, officials said.
They reiterated that the area is under “tight vigil” and “there is no obstruction” in areas where poll activities will be conducted, so voters will face no problems.
He said 1,47,86,382 people are eligible to vote in the Delhi polls, and 2,32,815 are in the age group of 18-19.
Voters in various categories include males (81,05,236), females (66,80,277), service voters (11,608), third gender voters (869), and senior citizens (aged 80 and above) voters (2,04,830), officials said.
The bitterly fought high-octane campaign that lasted for over three weeks ended at 6 PM on Thursday, just 38 hours before the start of voting for the high-stakes Delhi Assembly election.
There are 672 candidates in the fray for 70 Assembly seats.
Tight security arrangements have been made across the national capital and police force and paramilitary personnel have been deployed.
Special Commissioner of Police (Intelligence) Praveer Ranjan had earlier said 190 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) will be deployed as part of the security measures. This is nearly four times the number of CAPF personnel deployed during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, he added.
There are 13,750 polling booths, besides one auxiliary booth, located at 2,689 locations across Delhi.
Electors can carry smart phones at polling stations in 11 Assembly constituencies for accessing QR codes from the voters’ helpline app in case they have not brought the voter’s slip to the booth.
Poll authorities had met protesters recently and encouraged them to vote on the polling day.