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Athgarh by-poll peaceful barring stray incidents

Last Updated: Sunday, March 18, 2012 - 23:21

Athgarh: Barring a stray incident of EVM snatching in one booth, polling in Athgarh assembly segment went off peacefully while an elderly voter
died of stress.

BJD’s four-time MLA Ranendra Pratap Swain is locking
horns with senior Congress leader and OPCC General Secretary
Suresh Chandra Mohapatra in the constituency which has five
other candidates including BJP’s Bikram Dash.

Preliminary reports indicate that little over 70
per cent voters exercised their franchise beating the
scorching heat as they lined before 198 booths of the segment
throughout the day.

Athgarh has 1.85 lakh voters in its electoral list of
which around 80,000 are women voters.

The state chief electoral officer has however ordered
re-polling in Sunthipal booth under Tigiria police station
after some unidentified persons snatched away the EVM alleging
that the polling here was conducted in a very unfair manner.

The re-polling would be held on Tuesday.

A frantic search by police to trace the
missing EVM yielded no result. Police however, has detained a
person in this connection.

Contrary to sluggish polling pace in the morning
hours, brisk voting took place in the afternoon and
by 3 pm 47 per cent of voters had exercised their franchise.

Long queues were witnessed at many rural booths even
after the 5 pm deadline and sources said polling in some
booths went upto 8 pm.

In Athgarh a 90-year-old woman died due to exhaustion.

Nishamani Sethy of Kuleilo village fainted just just
after she cast her vote. She was immediately rushed to the
nearby government hospital where she was declared brought

A presiding officer also fainted inside the
booth in the midst of polling but recovered in hospital,
officials sources said.

Counting of the votes in the segment is scheduled on


First Published: Sunday, March 18, 2012 - 23:21

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