Delhi ‘fully prepared’ for Feb 7 polls

New Delhi (IANS): With Delhi getting ready to elect its new representatives from all 70 assembly constituencies Feb 7, the entire polling machinery was “fully prepared” to ensure a smooth election, a top election official said Thursday.

Addressing a press conference here, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Chandra Kumar Bhushan said the national capital was fully ready to go to polls.

“We are ready. Entire polling staff, security staff, observers and others are fully prepared for the election,” he said.

Of the total 70 seats, 12 are reserved for Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes. This time, 673 candidates would contest as against 810 in the 2013 election. Of these 194 are contesting as independents.

Sixty-three women are in the fray this time as against 71 in 2013.

Burari constituency has a record number of 18 candidates, while Ambedkar Nagar (SC) has the lowest number of four candidates.

The total 1,33,09,078 electors comprise 73,89,089 males, 59,19,127 females and 862 of the third gender, the official said.

In the 2013 election, the total number of electors was 1,19,32,069 with 66,11,363 males, 53,20,144 females and 562 others.

As many as 2,38,159 electors have been added in the electoral roll till Jan 5, 2015, he said.

There are 2,27,316 first time electors in the age bracket of 18 to 19 years, which is 1.7 percent of the total voters.

Homeless voters have been counted at 9,369 and all of them have been issued proper voter identity cards, he said.

There are 311 electors over the age of 100 years.

There are 11,763 polling stations at 2,530 locations. Seventy model polling stations – one each in every constituency – have been set up for “enhancement of voters’ experience”, the CEO said.

He said high-level security was being maintained and all electronic voting machines (EVMs) have been kept in 70 strong rooms with security officials manning them around the clock.

He appealed to the people to exercise their voting right by casting their ballot.