New Delhi, Apr 15: Polling for Delhi municipal elections began today on a moderate note with around 20 per cent of the electorate exercising its franchise till noon. There were reports of delay in the start of voting at a few places due to malfunctioning of electronic voting machines (EVMs). No report of any untoward incident was received till around mid-day, election officials said. As many as 83,000 policemen were keeping a tight vigil across the capital where polling began at 8 AM. 77,000 officials are conducting the elections in over 11,543 voting stations.
The fate of 2,423 candidates would be sealed in the polling being held for 272 wards of the three civic bodies -- East, South and North -- carved out of the existing Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD). Counting of votes will take place on Tuesday. A State Election Commission official said 18 to 20 per cent voters cast their ballot till 12 noon. "Lot of enthusiasm is being seen among people. Places like Malaviya Nagar and Vasant Vihar have so far registered a low turnout but I expect polling to pick up given the good weather," State Election Commissioner Rakesh Mehta said
Mehta said the polling was progressing peacefully and there was no report of violence from any part of the city. Long queues were seen at some of the polling stations
like Mahipalpur and Said-ul-Ajaib as morning walkers enthusiastically went to vote. A large number of senior citizens and women were also seen queueing up at the polling booths in the morning hours. "Every body should vote. They should select the best people, whichever party they belong to," said 91-year-old Ratilal Shah, a voter in Chandni Chowk. He claimed that he had voted in all elections since Independence.
In some polling booths, malfunctioning of EVMs delayed the start of voting with Mehta saying he had reports from eight to ten places about such incidents. EVMs malfunctioned in Sarita Vihar, Narela, Mandwali, Majnu ka Tila, Sadar Bazar and Gokulpuri among other places.