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Polling for mega Delhi civic body election begins; 1:45 cr voters in 250 wards

The process also reduced the number of wards from 272 to 250

Polling for mega Delhi civic body election begins; 1:45 cr voters in 250 wards

The elections to the 250 wards of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi began at 8 am on Sunday.

The high-stakes election will see a three-way fight, though the contest is mainly between BJP and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

This is also the first election since the delimitation process, which saw the three corporations in the national capital South, North and East being unified into the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.

The process also reduced the number of wards from 272 to 250.

The voting began at 8 am and will continue till 5:30pm.

There is tight security all over Delhi with over 40,000 police personnel, 20,000 home guards as well as 108 companies of paramilitary and state armed police forces deployed to the ensure smooth conduct of elections.

As many as 60 drones are also being used to ensure law and order in sensitive areas, police said.

Though it is a three-way contest in Delhi, the fight is mainly between BJP and AAP.

Both parties have intensively campaigned for the elections. Kejirwal-led AAP is hoping to seize control of the crucial civic body from the BJP while the latter is confident of grabbing power for the fourth consecutive time.

Though the Congress has failed to make an impact in any polls since 2015, the party too is hopeful to make a comeback this time.

Interestingly, this election also saw BJP and AAP engaging in a game of mudslinging on each other.

While BJP leaders mounted an all-out attack on AAP and its convener Arvind Kejriwal over corruption, the latter lashed out at the ruling BJP, raising issues such as landfills in the city and corruption.

The BJP, according to its senior state leaders, is hoping to repeat its 2017 performance where it won 181 of the 270 wards, AAP is confident of limiting the ruling party to 20 seats.

The AAP in its debut civic body polls won 48 wards while the Congress bagged 30.

According to the State Election Commission, there are over

13,638 polling stations. Besides, a large workforce of election functionaries and security agencies are also involved in the mega-election process.

There are also 68 Model Polling Stations and 68 Pink Polling Stations.

All wholesale and retail markets in the national capital will remain closed on December 4 in view of the civic body polls here, a traders' body said on Saturday.

The Chamber of Trade and Industry (CTI) said popular markets, including Lajpat Nagar, Gandhi Nagar, Krishna Nagar, Kamala Nagar, Karol Bagh, Laxmi Nagar among others will remain closed.

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