Sheila Dikshit (Left), Manoj Tiwari (Centre), Arvind Kejriwal (Right)
The seven Lok Sabha seats in the national capital are voting today where the incumbent BJP, Delhi’s ruling party AAP and the Congress are locked in a triangular contest.
While the BJP aims at repeating its 2014 performance when it swept all seven seats, the Congress is looking to bounce back after ending up at the third spot in the last general elections.
The lead up to the polls has not been without drama, with allegations and counter-allegations flying, and it had all the trappings of a soap opera that could give the daily shows a run for their money.
The poll eve was also not less eventful.
The Delhi Chief Electoral Officer sent a notice to the BJP for "airing election-related content" on the NaMo TV even after the silence period began. The 48 hour-period that began from 6 pm Friday and will last till 6 pm Sunday is known as the silence period.
On the other hand, the Delhi Police said it has initiated a legal action after the Delhi poll body forwarded complaints of the BJP and the Congress alleging phone calls were being made to influence voters during the silence period.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal sent a legal notice to BJP's East Delhi candidate Gautam Gambhir, threatening legal proceedings for allegedly making defamatory comments against him.
Gambhir, who has also sent a legal notice to Kejriwal, had attacked him and the AAP for dragging his name in a defamatory pamphlet against his rival candidate Atishi.
On Saturday, AAP's West Delhi candidate Balbir Singh Jakhar's son Uday claimed that his father paid Rs 6 crore to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to contest the Lok Sabha polls. The charge was strongly refuted by the AAP candidate.
The single-phase voting in the national capital is witnessing 164 candidates battling it out of which 18 are women. Prominent among them are former chief minister Sheila Dikshit from northeast Delhi, BJP's incumbent MP Meenakshi Lekhi, who is contesting from New Delhi, and AAP's Atishi.
BJP's incumbent MP Manoj Tiwari is up against Dikshit for the Northeast Delhi seat and he has already said that her entry has made the poll contest "one of the most interesting in the country". AAP's Dilip Pandey is also in the fray from the seat.
Other prominent candidates in the race include Olympian boxer Vijender Singh, who is making his electoral debut from South Delhi, Union minister Harsh Vardhan from Chandni Chowk and cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir.
The 48-hour silence period from 6 pm Friday to 6 pm Sunday will also be observed as 'dry day'.
A total of 13,819 polling stations have been set up at 2,700 locations in Delhi, with one model polling station in each of the 70 assembly segments. Seventeen polling stations will be staffed only by women.
As many as 469 polling locations have been identified as critical and 61,000 personnel, including those of the Delhi Police, Home Guards and paramilitary, will be on their toes to ensure that there is no untoward incident.
According to the summary of the electoral roll published on April 23, there are over 1.43 crore voters in Delhi, 78,73,022 male and 64,42,762 female, while 669 belong to the third gender.
While 2,54,723 voters are in the age group of 18 and 19, there are 40,532 electorate with disability who would be provided pick up and drop facility.
Nearly 270 FIRs and daily diary (DD) entries were registered against political parties and others here till date for violation of the poll code.
(With PTI inputs)