Watertight security for Delhi Assembly polls today

The Asian Age.

Metros, Delhi

Extra vigil at Shaheen Bagh and other sensitive polling areas.

Polling officials carry EVM machines and other polling material as they leave for their polling stations. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: Riding on tech-savvy elements like QR codes and mobile apps, the poll authorities have geared up for elections to the 70-member Delhi Assembly on Saturday, making tight security arrangements across the national capital and keeping an extra vigil in Shaheen Bagh and other sensitive polling areas.

Over 1.47 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the electoral battle for the national capital, which is largely being seen as a triangular contest among the ruling AAP, a spirited Congress, and the opposition BJP which has campaigned very aggressively ahead of the election.

In view of the ongoing anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) protests in Shaheen Bagh, the Delhi CEO Office has put all five polling stations in the area under the “critical” category and confidence-building measures are continuously being undertaken to reassure voters.

Delhi chief electoral officer (CEO) Ranbir Singh reiterated that the area is under tight vigil and there is no obstruction in areas where poll activities will be conducted, so voters will face no problems.

“In all, 1,47,86,382 people are eligible to vote in the Delhi polls in which 2,32,815 are in the age group of 18-19. Voters in various categories include males (81,05,236), females (66,80,277), service voters (11,608), third gender voters (869), and senior citizen (aged 80 and above) voters (2,04,830),” said an official.

There are 13,750 polling booths, besides one auxiliary booth, located at 2,689 locations across Delhi.

“As far as critical polling stations are concerned, there are 516 locations and 3,704 booths in that category,” said Mr Singh.

There are 672 candidates in the fray for the 70 Assembly seats. Tight security arrangements have been made across the national capital and police force and paramilitary personnel have been deployed.

The special commissioner of police (Intelligence), Praveer Ranjan, had earlier said that 190 companies of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) will be deployed as part of the security measures.

This is nearly four times the number of CAPF personnel deployed during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Besides police security, polling stations falling in the critical category get paramilitary cover. Activities will be monitored through webcasting.

The police and election machinery are on “extra vigil” and assessing the situation all the time across the national capital, Mr Ranjan added.

Security personnel kept guard at strong rooms storing EVMs. The election staff carried EVMs and other polling material to the booths under tight supervision in all constituencies.

“The 2020 Delhi polls will be tech-driven with greater use of technological elements like mobile apps, QR codes, and social media interface, seeking to enhance the experience of all categories of voters, before polling or on the voting day. We are trying to make the best use of it,” added a poll official.

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