Odisha Panchayat Polls: Voter Turnout 70%, Patches of Violence Reported

Taking a serious note of the violence reported from some parts of the State during the first phase of the Panchayat polls, which took place on Wednesday, the Odisha Election Commission has asked the DGP to take necessary steps to ensure that the subsequent phases are conducted without any law and order situation.

Briefing journalists in the aftermath of the voting for the first phase, State Election Commission Aditya Prasad Padhi said that poling was held at 22,379 booths for 200 Zilla Parishad member posts of 1,669 Gram Panchayats in 71 Blocks. He said the overall polling went on peacefully barring some incidents of violence reported from a few places.

In the first phase, over 71,51,000 voters were to exercise their franchise. Approximately 70 per cent of these voters turned up to vote, Padhi informed. “As per the preliminary reports, polling was disrupted at three, seven and five booths in Dhenkanal, Jajpur and Puri districts, respectively. The SEC will take steps after receiving the detailed reports from the respective district Collectors,” added Padhi.

The SEC also informed that polling could not be held at Ward no-11 of Kundamela Gram Panchayat under Junagarh Block in Kalahandi district due to some specific reasons. Notably, voting for the second phase of the ensuing Panchayat elections will be held shortly.

As many as 40 people were injured, with 17 seriously wounded in Alanda Panchayat under Krushnaprasad Block in Puri district after some miscreants hurled bombs at booth no-IV in an attempt to capture the booth. The injured people were admitted to MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur. In the same Puri district, several journalists were brutally assaulted by miscreants who tried to capture a booth by force. The incident was reported from Badal Panchayat under Kanas Block.

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