69% votes polled for Odisha panchayat election

Last Updated: Monday, February 13, 2012 - 22:19

Bhubaneswar: About 69 per cent voters
exercised their franchise in the second phase of panchayat
polls in Odisha on Monday which was by and large peaceful barring stray
incidents of violence and snatching of ballot boxes.

"An estimated 69 per cent of the 56.54 lakh electorate
voted in the second phase of panchayat elections held in 83
blocks spread over 30 districts," state Election Commissioner
Ajit Tripathy told reporters here.

Sonepur district registered the maximum turnout of 83
per cent, while Cuttack district recorded the minimum 60 per
cent polling.

The second phase of polling was held for 197 zilla
parishads and 1,475 gram panchayats. The elections for the
remaining three phases are slated to be held on February 15,
17 and 19. The first phase was held on February 11.

Polling passed off by and large peacefully barring
stray violence as at least eight persons including six
policemen were attacked by a mob and injured hours before
voting began in Kendrapara district, police said.

However, polling passed off peacefully during the day
with no reports of booth capturing, poll rigging and loot of
ballot boxes.

In Jajpur district, polling in Rasulpur and Korei
blocks was marked by attempted rigging, snatching of ballot
box and ballot papers, the police said.

In Rasulpur block, miscreants snatched ballot boxes
from booth no-1 in Naguan village under Nathuabar panchayat
and later dumped it in a nearby pond after polling was over.

A group of people also locked polling personnel in
booth no-2 of Nathuabar panchayat, they said.

Violence broke out in Rasulpur block in the district
leading to halt in voting as miscreants tried to capture
booths in Bandhadiha panchayat.

Polling was suspended also at booth no-5 of Bandhadiha
panchayat after some miscreants barged into the booth and
snatched away many ballot papers.

Polling was also stalled for three hours at a booth
of the same panchayat due to alleged rigging.

Re-polling has been recommended in three booths in
Rasulpur block, two booths at Bandhadiha and one booth at
Nathuabar panchayat, Jajpur collector Anil Kumar Samal said.

PTI



First Published: Monday, February 13, 2012 - 22:19

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