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New Delhi, April 23: Millions of voters in the national capital on Sunday exercised their democratic right amid EVM glitches to pick three new municipal bodies in an election crucial for all three main contenders -- the BJP, Congress and the AAP.


According to the State Election Commission, 54 per cent of the 1.32 crore electorate had exercised their franchise in polling that ended at 5.30 p.m., the turnout hit by intense midday heat.

Residents reported 'low' voting in many areas but in many others there were long queues of men and women keen to pick three wings of a municipal corporation that covers almost the whole of Delhi. 

The balloting was peaceful but both voters and political parties reported numerous cases of malfunctioning of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), which themselves have come under a cloud.

The Aam Aadmi Party, which rules Delhi, and the Congress want to end the 10-year reign of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the civic body, citing poor upkeep of the city's cleanliness.

The BJP used Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal to reclaim the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (104 seats), South Delhi Municipal Corporation (104 seats) and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (64 seats).

Polling did not take place in two wards - Maujpur in East Delhi and Sarai Pipal Thala in North Delhi - where a candidate each of the Samajwadi Party died.

Even as the polling was on, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said reports of EVM malfunctioning came from all over the capital. He also tweeted that many people with voter slips were not allowed to vote.

Kejriwal, who has been up against the Centre's ruling BJP and the Election Commission over the EVM tampering, has repeatedly flayed the State poll panel for using pre-2006 balloting machines in the civic polls.

BJP leader Arvinder Singh Lovely, who recently quit the Congress, could not vote because the EVM in his polling station - there were 13,022 in all - broke down.

By 3 p.m., the AAP 'War Room' reported 250 calls from voters complaining about non-functional EVMs. The complaints came from several areas including Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia's constituency Patparganj.

A Maharashtra Congress leader, Shehzad Poonawala, tweeted about the EVMs in Delhi: 'Better we call them (E)xtremely (V)ulnerable (M)achines.'

A total of 2,537 candidates were in the fray.

Among others who contested the election are the Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party, Janata Dal-United and Swaraj India of Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan who were earlier Kejriwal's colleagues in the AAP.

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