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Much-awaited polling for MCD elections on Sunday

Polling for the 250 wards of the MCD is scheduled to be held from 8 am to 5:30 pm. Over 13,000 polling booths have been set up across the National Capital.

Nikhil Vyas | New Delhi |

The much-awaited polling for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), which is expected to be a three-way contest among the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the BJP, and the Congress, will take place on Sunday while the counting of votes is scheduled to be held on December 7.

Polling for the 250 wards of the MCD is scheduled to be held from 8 am to 5:30 pm.

Over 13,000 polling booths have been set up across the National Capital. Of these, 3,000 booths come under the “critical” category. Around 1.45 crore people are eligible to exercise their franchise.

Delhi State Election Commission has set up 13,638 polling stations for the civic body polls.

Sixty-eight model polling stations and an equal number of pink polling stations have been designated in New Delhi in view of the MCD elections, officials said.

Delhi State Election Commission authorities, on Saturday, shared a list of these 136 polling booths. Officials said that the special polling stations aim to provide unique arrangements for women, elderlies and persons with disabilities, among other people to encourage voters’ participation in the 250-wards MCD polls.

“There are around 70 assembly constituencies, and these special polling stations have been set up in a manner that each assembly constituency will have at least one Model polling station or one Pink polling station,” they said.

The list of areas includes Rohini, Mubarakpur Dabas, Shalimar Bagh, Pitam Pura, Jafrabad (Zeenat Mahal), Maujpur, Tukhmirpur, Green Park Extension, Malviya Nagar, JNU, Neb Sarai, Dakshinpuri, Dr Ambedkar Nagar, Dwarka, Najafgarh, Mayur Vihar, Priyadarshini Vihar, Rajgarh Colony, Punjabi Bagh, Janak Puri, Keshav Puram, Prasad Nagar, RK Puram, Dilshad Garden etc.

While model polling booths come with amenities for voters, including the elderly and persons with disabilities, like drinking water, separate toilet facilities, seating arrangements, ramps, wheelchairs etc. to enhance the voting experience.

Similarly, Pink polling stations are managed entirely by the women polling personnel, and have been set up to encourage female voters to vote, officials said.

The State Election Commission said a large workforce of election functionaries and security agencies have put humongous efforts to make necessary preparations for conducting elections at 13,638 polling stations spread across Delhi. Further, 68 Model Polling Stations and 68 Pink Polling Stations have been established for the quality experience of the voters. Adequate arrangements for the deployment of forces have been made.

The Commission said it has made elaborate arrangements for “safe, secure and pleasant” voting experience. These measures are required to keep the electoral field free and to ensure that a level playing field is afforded to all political parties and candidates.

To ensure hassle-free civic polls on Sunday, the Delhi Police will deploy 40,000 security personnel at every nook and corner of the national capital.

According to the Delhi Police, a total of 40,000 personnel will be deployed across the city on the polling day on December 4.

“A total of 20,000 security personnel of Home Guards have also been asked from the neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana for the election duty,” said an official.

“As per analysis of all booths, there will be heavy deployment on the critical booths and communally sensitive areas,” said the official.

A total of 108 companies of Central Armed Police Force and State Armed Police will also be deployed so that the election process passes off peacefully.

Police teams will also monitor the recent communally-hit areas with the help of drones. “Police have also increased its visibility in every district and frequent checks are being done by teams,” said a senior police official.

“All ACsP & SHOs also had meetings with ‘Aman committee members’ of the communal sensitive areas and sensitised them to become ‘Eyes & Ears’ of Delhi Police. They were also asked to report on 1,090 regarding anything suspicious,” said the official.

Delhi Metro train services on all lines will commence from 4 am from all terminal stations on Sunday.

“On the day of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi election on December 4 (Sunday), the Delhi Metro train services on all lines will start from 4 am from all terminal stations.  The trains will run with a frequency of 30 minutes on all the lines till 6 am.  After 6 am, Metro trains will run as per the normal Sunday timetable throughout the day,” a DMRC spokesperson said.

The city’s Excise Department has announced that alcohol sale will be prohibited for three days in Delhi starting from Friday evening.

The three-day ban came into force from the time the campaigning ends until the completion of voting.

The high-decibel campaign for high-profile MCD elections in the national capital ended on Friday with the BJP seeking another term in office and AAP and Congress seeking a change.

All political parties campaigned hard for the elections with the issue of cleanliness in the city figuring prominently in the political discourse.

The BJP, which has governed the civic body in Delhi since 2007, is looking to maintain its winning streak while the Aam Aadmi Party, which has a majority in the Assembly, is looking to make inroads in the first municipal election in the capital after the delimitation of wards.

This year, the Central government unified the three corporations – East Delhi Municipal Corporation, South Delhi Municipal Corporation and North Delhi Municipal Corporation – into one MCD. After a Home Ministry notification, the total number of MCD wards in Delhi has been reduced to 250 from earlier 272. As many as 42 wards are in the reserved category.

The BJP has governed the civic bodies since 2007. In the last civic body polls in 2017, the BJP won 181 of the 270 wards. The AAP had won 48 wards, while the Congress managed to win 27. Polling was not held for two seats due to the death of candidates.