A day after the conclusion of voting in the Delhi Assembly polls, the Election Commission (EC) released its final data over voter-turnout on Sunday evening. On Sunday morning, Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP had questioned the delay in voter turnout. Responding to the allegation of EVM tampering, Delhi Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh elaborately reasoned the delay, further cited 'accuracy'.
He said, "It was thoroughly investigated, the sector officer on location was assigned two places and issued two sets of machines. It was a remote area, he had kept one machine at one place and the other on another location. He had to walk 700 meters. He first went to the place which was near and then he took the other machine. The official was taking the machines when some people accosted him because strong rooms were closed by then. These machines were kept in reserve and were not used for polling. The machine was then locked in a room in the presence of polling agents of two political parties. The machine was examined amid the presence of all stakeholders and they were shown relevant documents. After that they were satisfied."
"Voter turnout data is submitted by returning officers who were busy throughout the night, then they became busy in scrutiny. It has taken a little bit of time but, in data entry, it is very important to ensure accuracy," the Election Commission added.
AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh told the media that AAP leaders including Manish Sisodia, Gopal Rai, Prashant Kishor and himself held a meeting with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and claimed of having received information of poll officials trying to take away the EVM at several places in an unauthorized manner. Sanjay Singh questioned how the EVM machines reached the officers when they should have been sealed and taken straight to strongrooms.
AAP's Sanjay Singh raised concerns over the delay in revealing the voter turnout by the Election Commission on Sunday. Speaking to news agency ANI, Sanjay Singh accused the election commission of internal politics, citing examples of elections during the ballot system.
He said, "Delhi elections were held yesterday, for the first time in the history of 70 years, the Election Commission was not ready to tell what percentage of turnout was done. It means that there is something going on." "When elections were held from the ballot, the voting percentage used to come in 1 hour. What the Election Commission does not know is that BJP's General Secretary BL, Santosh knows! They are saying a 17% turnout in the last two hours." Sanjay Singh added.
Similarly, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal took on the EC over the delay even after 17 hours of polling across 70 constituencies in the national capital. He said, "Absolutely shocking. What is EC doing? Why are they not releasing poll turnout figures, several hours after polling?" Shortly after the polling concluded, AAP claimed having received information from "several places" that officials were trying to take away the electronic voting machines (EVMs) in an "unauthorized manner".
The Election Commission announced that the voter turnout was 62.59% in Delhi. The Exit Polls across the spectrum have predicted an easy victory for AAP in the national capital.