69% votes polled for Odisha panchayat election
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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.


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

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