70 percent polling in 11 Lok Sabha, 77 Assembly seats of Odisha

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Bhubaneswar: 70 per cent of the electorate exercised their franchise for 11 Lok Sabha and 77 Assembly seats in Odisha where second and last phase of polls passed off peacefully barring some stray incidents on Thursday.

As the electoral fortunes of 845 candidates for 11 Lok Sabha and 77 Assembly seats were sealed in the EVMs, a maximum of around 75 per cent voters turned out in Dhenkanal as well as Angul districts, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Mona Sharma told reporters here.

The lowest voter turn-out of about 45 per cent was recorded in the Khurda district, she said.

Final phase of polling remained by and large peaceful and smooth in the constituencies spread over 13 districts in the coastal and northern parts of Odisha, Sharma said.

Barring stray incidents in places like Niali in the Cuttack district and Karanjia in the Mayurbhanj district, polling remained peaceful, Sharma said adding EVMs were damaged by miscreants in four booths in Niali.

An engineer was arrested in Niali for alleged unauthorised entry in a booth and interfering with the polling process, she said.

In Karanjia Assembly segment, voters of booth No. 137 boycotted polls over some local issues. A Tehsildar who had gone to convince the voters to exercise their franchise was detained by the people, the CEO said.

Complaints of irregularities, disturbances and rigging were received from Mahanga, Ghasipura, Dharmasala, Brahmagiri and Mahakalapada, she said.

As many as 300 EVMs had to be replaced due to snag and other reasons, Sharma said adding repolling may be recommended for four booths in Niali where voting machines were damaged.

In Kendrapara, non-bailable warrants were issued against 54 government employees who skipped poll duties, official sources said.

Three polling agents of BJP were arrested in Dhenkanal district for allegedly misleading voters at a booth and asking them to go back saying EVMs were not working, sources said.

An election agent of Congress was arrested for damaging an EVM in a booth in Mulasahi village in Kendrapara district.

Ten persons were injured in a clash between two groups at a booth at Gopalpur village under Brahmagiri area in Puri district with the police restoring order, police sources said.

A similar incident took place in a booth at Jagannathprasad in Khandapada area where a presiding officer was allegedly manhandled by local people who accused him of persuading people to vote for the ruling BJD, they said.

Five deaths were reported during the poll process since yesterday, the CEO said adding the deceased included a voter in Balasore, a home guard, a driver and two polling personnel in Kendrapara and Balasore (yesterday).

A voter standing in a queue outside a polling booth died in Balasore Sadar Assembly constituency, police said.

Reports of poll boycott were received from several places for a variety of reasons.

Repolling was also held in 22 booths in eight Assembly segments where polling was not held due to various reasons, including snatching of EVMs, during the first phase of voting on April 10, Sharma said.

Though there was peaceful repolling in 15 booths of Maoist-hit Chitrakonda Assembly seat in Malkangiri district, no votes were cast in eight polling stations, official sources said.


First Published: Thursday, April 17, 2014, 08:29
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