Ballimaran, Seelampur Poll More Than City Average
While Delhi registered an overall turnout of 60.5% in the Lok Sabha polls — lower than the 65.1% seen in 2014 — in what could have a significant impact on the results, the constituencies with a sizeable population of Muslims saw an impressive voting percentage.
While Ballimaran reported 68.3% polling, Matia Mahal and Seelampur were not far behind at 66.9% and 66.5%, respectively. Trilokpuri polled 65.4%, Mustafabad 65.2%, Babarpur 62.1% and Chandni Chowk 59.4%. Okhla was one of the exceptions, recording a much lower 54.8% turnout.
Much of the Muslim vote is likely to go to either Congress or AAP, but insiders in both parties are worried about a vote-split actually helping BJP. At the same time, Congress is confident of doing well, assuming that people would prefer voting for a national party with the larger picture in the mind.
Some voters TOI spoke to said that while the AAP government in Delhi had done some good work, national agendas mattered more in the Lok Sabha elections. But there were some who claimed that they had gone for the Arvind Kejriwal-led party because of the development work done by it in the capital.
Experts, meanwhile, blamed a “weakening connect” between voters and candidates for the dip in the overall figures. “Leaders have overshadowed candidates during campaigning and local issues have not been highlighted properly. Also, heat could have forced many people to stay home,” said Ravi Ranjan, who teaches political science at DU.
The highest turnout was seen in North East Delhi constituency at 63.45% whereas New Delhi was at the bottom with a disappointing 56.9%. North East has large pockets of unauthorised colonies populated by migrants from Bihar and eastern UP. New Delhi, on the other hand, is a predominantly urban constituency, dominated by government employees, traders and middle-class voters.
Shakur Basti, under Chandni Chowk constituency, populated mainly by working middleclass, traders and slum voters, saw the highest turnout among all assembly segments at 68.7%. Delhi Cantonment was at the other extreme, at 42.1%.