Delhi polls on Feb 7

Delhi polls on Feb 7

Counting on Feb 10

Delhi polls on Feb 7

Elections  to the Delhi Assembly will be held on February 7. The Election Commission announced the poll schedule here on Monday, setting the stage for a fierce battle between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

BJP icon and Prime Minister Narendra Modi faces popularity test against challenges from AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal while prospects of the Congress seem to be bleak. As many as 1.30 crore eligible voters are expected to exercise their franchise at a total of 11,763 polling stations to elect 70 members of the Legislative Assembly.

While the counting of votes will be held on February 10, Lt Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung will issue notification for the polls on January 14. The last date for filing nominations by the candidates is January 21. While the scrutiny of nominations will be conducted on January 22, candidates can withdraw nominations till January 24.

With the declaration of the poll schedule, the Model Code of Conduct comes into force with immediate effect. The electoral process will be completed by February 12.

The poll panel launched an android mobile application, ‘Delhi Election’, to help voters check their names in the voters’ list and know their polling stations. It said the Delhi Election Commission had been asked to ensure that the polling booths were on the ground floor for people with disability.

“The dissolution (of the Delhi Assembly) order of the President will expire by February 15 and in order to restore the mandate of the people as expeditiously as possible, the commission has decided to go in for elections where the results will be known well before February 15,” Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath told reporters in the presence of Election Commissioners H S Brahma and Nasim Zaidi.

Delhi will witness a “hectic” political campaign and the “focus of all political parties” will be here as no other poll is scheduled during this period, he said.

Delhi was brought under President’s Rule on February 15 last year after Kejriwal stepped down as chief minister, 49 days after assuming charge. The Delhi Assembly was dissolved by President Pranab Mukherjee on November 4, 2014.

The commission warned political leaders against making hate speeches during  poll campaigns.

There would be strict and “ruthless” enforcement of the model code with zero tolerance against such conduct.

Responding to the charge that the commission was not following the norm of a one-month gap between announcement of elections and the date for filing nominations, Sampath clarified that three weeks being the “outer limit”, the gap “may be reduced to two weeks” or even one week.

DH News Service

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