New Delhi:Polling for the high-octane Delhi elections began in all 70 constituencies at 0800 hrs on Saturday, amid elaborate security arrangements.
Fate of 672 candidates, who are in fray, will be decided by 1,46,92,136 electors who are expected to exercise their franchise at 13,571 polling stations that have been set up at 2,688 locations.
Braving cold weather conditions, voters could be seen lined-up before 0700 hrs at several polling booths across the national capital, eagerly waiting to cast their votes by pressing the button on Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
The key contestants are Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal from New Delhi, Bharatiya Janata Party's Vijender Gupta from Rohini and Congress leader Arvinder Singh Lovely from Gandhi Nagar.
Barring a few stray incidents, the electioneering which took off around Republic Day remained by and large peaceful, yet the incidents of shooting in Shaheen Bagh and outside Jamia Milia Islamia university in South-East were strongly criticised by the people of Delhi.
Despite several issues being raised in the past one month, protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) at Shaheen Bagh in South East Delhi remained a key issue during the electioneering.
The campaign witnessed ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) riding on its strong lower-middle class vote bank and promise of continuing the freebies in water and power supply, Congress vowing to bring back Sheila Dixit's era of infrastructure development and BJP branding nationalism and strong Centre-State relations.
The security arrangements have been stepped up across the city to thwart any untoward incident. Central Armed Police Forces have also been deployed. Senior police officials from various units have been drafted for the special poll duties.
The police has laid special emphasis for security over the sensitive stir hit zones that have been witnessing protests and unrest from past two months, while monitoring of many areas is also being carried out using drones.(UNI)