Kejriwal wants no EVMs for April 22 civic polls

Kejriwal wants no EVMs for April 22 civic polls

Kejriwal wants no EVMs for April 22 civic polls

Elections to the three municipal corporations in Delhi will be held on April 22.
The announcement paves way for another showdown among the AAP, BJP and the Congress soon after the Assembly polls in five states.

The announcement by the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Delhi also came on a day Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal demanded doing away with EVMs and sought the use of paper ballots.

State Election Commissioner S K Srivastava said voting will be held on April 22 and counting on April 25. The expenditure limit for a candidate has been increased from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 5.75 lakh.

Srivastava also rejected the demands for replacing EVMs, saying they will be used in the upcoming polls.

Sources said Kejriwal asked Delhi Chief Secretary M M Kutty to write to the CEO, while Congress Delhi chief Ajay Maken shot off a letter demanding paper ballots, saying he was doing so “without prejudice” to the results in Assembly elections and “not casting aspersions on the outcome”.

Delhi had a single municipal corporation but was divided into three before the 2012 polls with the then Congress chief minister Sheila Dikshit believing that her party could romp home comfortably in the elections.

However, the BJP won all the three — the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) with 104 wards each and the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) with 64 wards.

For the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP, it would be an opportunity to prove that the electoral victory in the past two Assembly elections was not a one-off incident, while for the BJP and the Congress, which once ruled the capital, the question is of plain survival.
The BJP had won just three of the 70 seats in the 2015 Assembly polls, while the Congress lost all it had contested.

Also, the results in Punjab have dampened the spirits of the AAP.

In Delhi, Punjabis are in significant numbers and the Congress may find it more encouraging to face Delhi voters in the civic polls by pointing to the rejection of the AAP in Punjab.

The BJP is also in an upbeat mood following its resounding victory in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and the formation of party-led governments in Manipur and Goa.

Quickly getting in to the poll mode, the Delhi BJP has already announced that the party will not field any sitting councillor or family members, but focus on new young candidates.

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