New Delhi, April 14 (IANS) Come Sunday, residents of the capital will cast their votes in elections to the trifurcated Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) with a hope that the newly created civic agencies would provide better education, road, health, sanitation and other amenities.
The stage is set for polling in 272 wards of three new municipal corporations of north, south and east Delhi, where 2,423 candidates are in the fray.
While the corporations of north and south will have 104 wards each, the east Delhi corporation will have 64 wards.
A total of 30,000 armed police personnel will be deployed during Sunday's civic polls at 11,543 booths located in the capital.
Over one crore eligible voters are expected to exercise their franchise to elect the municipal councillors.
"There are a total of 1,15,20,508 voters, of whom males are 64,42,168 and females are 50,75,001 and 'others' are 35. Efforts have been made to inform all the voters about their polling stations, and voter serial numbers through voter identification slips which have been distributed by the booth level officers in all the three corporations," a state election commission statement said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which rules the corporation, had swept the 2007 elections to the unified MCD with 168 seats.
While it will be a real contest between the Congress and the BJP, parties like the Samajwadi Party will also try to make their presence felt.
"We had won with a thumping majority and we are sure we will be voted to power," Delhi BJP chief Vijendra Gupta told IANS.
Faced with corruption charges in the conduct of the Commonwealth Games (CWG), the state-ruling Congress will count on the plank of development to come back to power in all the three corporations.
"It was our party which led to the split of extremely large body which was known for haphazardness and corruption. Congress has always supported the idea of three civic agencies for the betterment of services," said a party leader.
Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee chief J.P. Agarwal said: "Congress is always for development and the city has witnessed major changes over the last ten years."
"We will win," Agarwal said.
While candidates from the BJP and the Congress will contest from 271 wards, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samajwadi Party have fielded their candidates respectively in 99 and 215 wards.
This will be first time that 50 percent seats (136) will be reserved for women candidates.
Interestingly, the capital will also for the first time witness the participation of eunuchs as contestants in the polls.
Eunuchs who have mentioned their sex as "others" in the voters' list have been allowed to contest from the general category wards.
"No matter which party wins the elections, people want better civic amenities. It would be difficult to say whether the concept of three bodies will do some good," said Aneesh Mehta from capital's East of Kailash locality.
"Last time, only 42 percent voter turnout was registered, this year we expect around 50-60 percent voter turnout," said an official from the state election commission.
With Delhi assembly elections due in end-2013, the results will have significant impact on the morale of the parties.
The voting on Sunday will begin at 8 a.m. and end at 5.30 p.m.
The votes will be counted Tuesday.
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