Pockets and assembly constituencies with a large population of migrants and minorities are ones that registered a higher voter turnout Sunday. Data shared by the Election Commission shows that the highest turnout was recorded in Shakur Basti, where the population is a mix of migrants and minorities, along with a few posh pockets such as parts of Paschim Vihar and Rani Bagh.
The second-highest turnout was seen in Ballimaran, which largely has a minority population. Both these areas are in the Chandni Chowk constituency, where BJP’s Harsh Vardhan is pitted against Congress’s J P Agarwal and AAP’s Pankaj Gupta.
“While the BJP is surely on a strong footing in most areas in Chandni Chowk, we have seen several voices speaking in favour of Agarwal. The contest is clearly two-way here,” said a Congress leader who did not wish to be named.
In the North East Delhi constituency, where Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari is contesting against Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit and former AAP Delhi chief Dilip Pandey, the highest turnouts were seen in Seelampur, Seemapuri, Mustafabad and Karawal Nagar. These areas are primarily Purvanchali and Muslim dominated.
With Tiwari and Pandey — both Purvanchalis — appealing to people for their votes, Dikshit, who has contested and won from the area previously, is counting on her appeal among the voters, making the seat among the most closely contested ones in Delhi.
Similar trends were seen in East and South Delhi. In East Delhi’s Okhla, for example, the turnout went from around 43% in 2014 to around 55% this year. Both AAP and Congress are considered strong in the area.
In East Delhi, where a bitter battle was fought between AAP’s Atishi and BJP’s Gautam Gambhir, even as Congress’s Arvinder Singh Lovely chose not to get involved, BJP strongholds Krishna Nagar and Vishwas Nagar, and AAP strongholds Trilokpuri and Shahdara, saw among the highest turnouts.
“The contest is truly triangular here. It is clear that areas where AAP is popular have come out to vote, but what that translates into is tough to tell as Lovely has found support in areas around Gandhi Nagar,” said a senior AAP leader.
For AAP, leaders said South Delhi has come as a “surprise”. “We have received a very positive feedback. A high turnout (relatively) was seen in pockets such as Ambedkar Nagar and Deoli. The Bijwasans pocket — a Jat-dominated area — might play spoilsport for us as Congress candidate Vijender Singh might get more votes there. Nevertheless, we are very upbeat about the seat,” the AAP leader said.