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Battle lines being drawn in Delhi as AAP declares candidates for all seats; 5 nominations filed

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Battle lines were being drawn in Delhi for the February 8 assembly election as the AAP on Tuesday declared its candidates for all 70 seats, and the nomination process started with five aspirants filing their papers.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will contest from New Delhi seat for the third time as the AAP seeks to retain power on the plank of development in a triangular contest involving the BJP and the Congress which are expected to announce their candidates later this week.

BJP ally Lok Janshakti Party declared it will contest all the 70 seats and released its first list of 15 candidates.

Poll officials said the notification for the election was issued on Tuesday and nomination process began. The last date for filing nomination is January 21. The scrutiny will happen on January 22 while the last date for withdrawal of candidature is January 24.

One nomination each was filed in Burari and Matiala constituencies, while a candidate filed three nominations in the New Delhi seat, a senior official of the Delhi CEO Office said.

The Aam Aadmi Party, which won 67 out 70 seats in the last assembly polls, has repeated 46 MLAs.

Kejriwal's cabinet colleagues, including his deputy Manish Sisodia, will contest from the seats they represent in the current assembly.

The party has dropped 15 MLAs and given tickets to 24 new faces, including Atishi, Dilip Pandey and Raghav Chadha who unsuccessfully contested the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Atishi will contest from Kalkaji, Raghav Chadha from Rajendir Nagar and Dilip Pandey from Timarpur.

"The existing MLAs will contest elections on 46 seats. There will be new faces in place of 15 existing MLAs and nine vacant seats. There are eight women among them. In 2015, there were six women," Sisodia said. Sisodia said.

Soon after the announcement, Kejriwal tweeted, "Best wishes to all. Don't be complacent. Work v(ery) hard. People have lot of faith in AAP and u (You). God bless."

In an exclusive interview to PTI, Delhi's Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh said his office will soon launch a mega, multi-domain outdoor campaign to draw large number of electorate to the polling booths.

"The 2020 Delhi polls will be tech-driven with greater use of technology elements like mobile apps, QR codes, social media interface, seeking to enhance the experience of all categories of voters, before polling or on the voting day. And we are trying to make the best use of it," he said.

According to Singh, focussed campaigns have been planned by his office to reach out to different sections of voters, aiming to break the "urban apathy" of the electorate.

"We are soon going to launch a very focussed massive outdoor publicity campaign to appeal to voters to exercise their franchise. Under this, metro stations and select coaches on certain corridors, bus shelters, and other public places having high footfall will be used," Singh said.

His office said 100 FIRs have been registered under the Arms Act and 111 people have been arrested, while 196.6 kilograms of drugs have been seized since the enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct on January 6.

Four cases have been recorded in connection with alleged violations misuse of vehicles, loud speakers, illegal meetings and "gratification" of electors.

A total of 267 FIRs have been registered and 277 persons arrested under the Excise Act. The official said 113 arms, weapons have been seized while 2,449 licensed have been deposited.

Over 1.46 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the Delhi elections, according to the final electoral roll. The counting of votes will take place on February 11.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, January 14 2020. 22:30 IST