Odisha panchayat polls: 69.4 % vote in last phase

Bhubaneswar: Over 69 percent voters on Sunday exercised their franchise in fifth and last phase of Odisha panchayat polls which witnessed stray incidents of violence and booth capturing in some places.

"An estimated 69.41 percent of the 31.85 lakh electorate voted in the final phase of panchayat elections," a State Election Commission official said.

Nayagarh district registered the maximum voter turnout of 85 per cent, while Bargarh and Jagatsinghpur districts recorded 77 percent polling. The turnout in Cuttack district was 62 per cent, lowest in the state, he said.

The fifth phase of polling was held for 111 zilla parishad zones and 806 gram panchayats spread over 48 blocks in 24 districts. The elections for first four phases had been held on February 11, 13, 15 and 17.

Polling passed off by and large peacefully barring stray incidents of violence and attempted booth capturing in districts like Jajpur, Ganjam, Puri and Cuttack, he said.