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Women power at Delhi civic polls (Sidelights)

Delhi,Politics, Sun, 15 Apr 2012 IANS

New Delhi, April 15 (IANS) In the old quarters of Delhi, many veiled women, dragging their children along, were seen thronging the polling booths to vote in the civic elections. Ditto in Jamia Nagar area of south Delhi.


"I always vote. This is our right," said Rukhsana Begum. But, ask her again, and she candidly explains. "Our vote matters, we are wooed... This makes us feel important. Also, it is like a social outing. So why not."




Delhi's female voters pledge loyalty to woman candidates


The increase in the number of women candidates in the trifurcated Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections has had a cascading effect with large number of women voters turning up to vote in several west Delhi booths.


Thanks to the 50 percent reservation of seats for women, the Congress has put up 142 women candidates while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded 139.


According to 42-year-old Hema Arora, an Old Rajendra Nagar resident: "We have to support the women candidates as so many years of male dominated politics has not done much good and we need a change."


"They are our hope to get things right," she added.


Agreed Veena Dua, 38, a voter from West Patel Nagar: "Issues like adequate drinking water, clean neighbourhoods and parks are prime for everybody especially for homemakers like me,"


"I guess a woman candidate would understand these issues much better than a man," she added.




Cleaner voting booths


This time, for a change, the polling booths were cleaner. This could be because the polling agents - who give voter slips - were not present. One could just enter the booth with an identity card or photocopy of the election cards that were given a day before.


"A common sight at elections if of paper strewn outside the booths. But this time I was pleasantly surprised to see no clutter around the booths," said Tarun Gogoi, a resident of Malviya Nagar.




Good news for polling officers - Monday is off day


After a tiring Sunday, about 57,717 polling officers can relax on Monday with the office of state election commission announcing leave for them.


"It is for the first time that we have announced leave for about 57,717 polling officers," an official of the state election commission told IANS.


Counting of votes will take place on Tuesday.


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