Bhubaneswar: About 69 per cent of voters
exercised their franchise in the third phase of panchayat
polls in Odisha on Wednesday which remained peaceful barring some
stray incidents of violence and snatching of ballot boxes by
Maoists in Kalahandi district.
"An estimated 69 per cent of the 53.88 lakh electorate
voted in the third phase of panchayat elections," state
Election Commissioner Ajit Tripathy told reporters here.
Boudh district registered the maximum voter turnout of 85
per cent, while Koraput district recorded the minimum 50
per cent polling.
The third phase of polling was held for 188 zilla
parishad zones and 1,350 gram panchayats. The elections for
the remaining two phases are slated to be held on February 17
and 19. The first phase was held on February 11 and second on
Polling passed off by and large peacefully barring some
stray incidents of violence and attempted booth capturing in
some areas with Maoists snatching ballot boxes in three booths
under Trilochanpur gram panchayat of Lanjigarh
block in Kalahandi district, Lanjigarh BDO P K Nayak said.
Soon after the incident, security forces including
Special Operations Group (SOG) jawans had launched a massive
combing operation in the area, Kalahandi SP Sudha Singh said.
Disturbances were reported from 14 booths spread over
nine districts, SEC sources said.
In Bhadrak district, 12 people were injured in a clash
between two groups, sources said.