(NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI - May 7, 2009: With a turnout rate at around 50 percent, the voters of Indian capital exercised their franchise in the seven constituencies around the political heart of India Thursday in the fourth phase of the general elections.A voter leaves a polling station, temporarily made inside a school, after casting her vote, in New Delhi, India, Thursday, May 7, 2009. Thursday's vote is the fourth of five phases in these elections and is spread across the federally administered Indian capital of New Delhi and seven states, including parts of the most populous state of Uttar Pradesh and Indian-controlled Kashmir.
Election officials said 50 percent of some 11 million voters of the capital polled their votes in a peaceful atmosphere and in relatively good weather condition below 40 degrees Celsius in the May summer time here. The issue of development was the key as the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) dominated the wrestlings in this key battleground of the month-long elections, with other political forces playing a minor role here. Even as infrastructure development picks up in the run up to the 2010 Commonwealth Games, Rekha Sharma of north Delhi says she wants hygiene levels raised in the city. "One must not find garbage littered around. Delhi has seen good number of flyovers coming up, yet traffic congestion remains an issue in some parts of Delhi. More road widening or flyovers are necessary," she said. Another Dehlhi resident, Jagpreet Brar, said clearing up graffiti walls, maintenance of heritage sites and general upkeep of all buildings and roads was necessary for the city to prepare for the international sports event next year. For some residents, frequent cutting of electricity in Delhi, especially in summer time, is a big problem as well. For women, safety is a priority issue. Manpreet Kaur, a housewife from Tilak Nagar, said crime control needs to be looked into by the government, as mugging, molestations or related incidents every day are heard of. The youth believed that their vote would matter. They came out in enthusiasm to vote more than justifying issues this time. "I feel everyone should vote as it is our duty," said 24-year-old Akriti, a first time voter. Political parties were concerned about an estimated 15,000 weddings taking place in the capital region on the polling day. Atbooths, however, it did look like that had an adverse impact on voting. Delhi's Chief Minister, Shiela Dixit of the Congress party, told media that Congress would bag at least five of the seven seats. Last time the Congress grasped six seats out of seven in the 2004 general elections.
However, voters do believe that it will be a close call between the BJP and the Congress at most places.