Delhi Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh on Sunday (February 9) asserted there was no unusual delay in the release of final turnout figure in the Delhi polls as the returning officers were busy with scrutiny of data throughout the night to ensure its accuracy. This comes after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal questioned the Election Commission over the “delay”.
Addressing a press conference, Singh tried to allay all the fears as expressed by a section of political parties over delay in releasing the final voting figures for the Delhi assembly elections held on Saturday, saying “they did not want to speculate and wanted to give exact figures”.
“So, returning officers worked throughout the night to check data to ensure it is accurate,” Singh said while asserting that the delay was not unusual rather it was done in a good time. He said there were more than 13,700 polling stations in the national capital and they had to add data from each station and ensure that every vote is accounted for.
It is not matter of late or early as soon as the voting per cent was finalised, it was shared with the public, the chief electoral officer said. The Election Commission announced the final voting percentage in the Delhi polls as 62.59 per cent late in the evening.
Singh’s remarks came after Kejriwal, who is also the AAP convener, questioned the “delay” by the Election Commissioner in giving the final voter turnout figure for the assembly polls. “Absolutely shocking. What is EC doing? Why are they not releasing poll turnout figures, several hours after polling?” Kejriwal tweeted around 4 pm.
His deputy Manish Sisodia too asked the poll panel if it was yet to receive the final voter turnout figure from the BJP office. “BJP leaders are giving the voter turnout figures and on the other hand the Election Commission has not been able to give the final voting percentage 24 hours after polling got over,” Sisodia said in a tweet in Hindi.
“EC is saying they are compiling data. What’s going on? Are you waiting for the BJP office to give you the final figure?” Sisodia said.
Meanwhile, AAP leader Sanjay Singh alleged “something is cooking” and “a game is being played secretly”. “This is perhaps the first time in the 70-year-history of country that the Election Commission is not ready to release the final figure of voter turnout. The entire country and Delhi have been waiting for the polling percentage since yesterday,” he said.
Exit polls for the Delhi assembly election on Saturday forecast a comfortable victory for the ruling AAP. The Kejriwal-led party had scored an overwhelming victory in the 2015 polls, winning 67 seats and reducing the BJP to three. Congress had then drawn a blank.
(With inputs from agencies)