Odisha witnesses 70 pc turnout in 2nd and final phase

Odisha witnesses  70 pc turnout in  2nd and final phase

The second and final phase of elections in Odisha for the 11 Lok Sabha and 77 Assembly constituencies were held peacefully on Thursday with around 70 per cent of the electorates exercising their franchise.

The first phase of elections for the rest 10 Lok Sabha and 70 Assembly constituencies in the state were held on April 10.

Odisha had gone for simultaneous elections for Lok Sabha as well as the state Assembly.
“The second phase of polling was by and large incident free and peaceful”, the chief electorate office(CEO) of the state Mona Sharma said.

However, four polling booths in Niali, an Assembly constituency in coastal Cuttack district, reported damage to the electronic voting machines(EVMs) by miscreants following an altercation between two groups of people. Re-polling is expected to be held in these four polling stations.

Police have arrested one person in connection with the incident.

So far, as the polling percentage is concerned, coastal Angul and Dhenkanal districts recorded highest 72 per cent while lowest 45 per cent was recorded in another important coastal district of Khurda. In the capital city Bhubaneswar, only 40 per cent electorates turned up to exercise their franchise.

The voting was also peaceful and incident free in two highly naxal-infested districts of Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar which went to polls in the second phase.

Heavy security arrangements were made by the authorities in these two districts for peaceful polling.

Voting disrupted

Re-polling was also held in 22 polling booths on Thursday where voting was disrupted during the first phase last week due to various reasons including snatching of EVMs by Maoists.

Out of these 22 polling booths, 15 were located in the interior pockets of Malkangiri, the worst-naxal hit districts in the state.

Significantly, nobody turned up to cast their votes in eight out of these 15 highly naxal-infested booths, obviously fearing Maoists’ wrath. The left wing ultras had also given a call to the local villagers to boycott the electoral process on the eve of the re-polling.

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