58 per cent polling in Odisha till 4.30 PM

58 per cent polling in Odisha till 4.30 PM

An estimated 58 per cent voters exercised their franchise till 4.30 PM for the simultaneous second and last phase of the elections to 11 Lok Sabha and 77 assembly constituencies in Odisha today.

Nayagarh district recorded the highest polling of 62 per cent so far, followed by Keonjhar with 60 per cent and the lowest was over 37 per cent in Khurda district, official sources said.

Among early bird voters were Assam Governor J B Patnaik and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Jaydev Jena and his predecessor and Congress stalwart Niranjan Patnaik.

Barring stray incidents in Brahmagiri in Puri district, Khandapada in Nayagarh districts and allegations of rigging in Aul in Kendrapara district, voting remained peaceful elsewhere in the constituencies in 13 districts in coastal and northern districts.

In Kendrapara, non-bailable warrants were issued against 54 government employees who skipped poll duties, official sources said.

Three BJP polling agents were arrested in Dhenkanal district for allegedly misleading voters at a booth and asking them to go back saying EVMs were not working, the sources said.

An election agent of Congress was arrested for damaging the EVM in a booth in Mulasahi village in Kendrapara district.

Altogether 10 persons were injured in a clash between two groups at a booth at Gopalpur village under Brahmagiri area in Puri district with the police restoring order.

A similar incident took place at a booth at Jagannathprasad in Khandapada area where a presiding officer was allegedly manhandled by local people who accused him of persuading people to vote for ruling BJD, they said.

A voter standing in a queue died in Balasore Sadar assembly constituency, police said.

Reports of poll boycott were received from several places for a variety of reasons.

Repolling was also being held in 22 booths in eight assembly segments where polling was not held due to various reasons, including snatching of EVMs, during the first phase of voting on April 10. 

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