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Odisha Assembly Elections 2024: Peaceful polling barring stray violence as state sees over 64% voter turnout

The highest voter turnout was recorded in tribal-majority Nabarangpur LS seat at 68.74 per cent followed by Kalahandi (68.50), Koraput (61.43) and Berhampur (60.26).
Last Updated : 13 May 2024, 19:45 IST
Last Updated : 13 May 2024, 19:45 IST

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Bhubaneswar: The first phase of Lok Sabha and assembly elections in Odisha on Monday was peaceful barring some sporadic incidents of violence, with a voter turnout of over 64 per cent, officials said.

The electoral fate of 280 candidates contesting in four Lok Sabha seats and 28 assembly segments in the first phase was sealed in the EVM.

The polling was by and large peaceful barring some sporadic incidents in Ganjam and Nabarangpur districts, while two persons were injured in a clash between rival groups during polling in Chikiti assembly segment, a police official said.

BJP candidate from Dabugam assembly segment Narasingha Bhadra was also allegedly attacked by rival political party workers.

Voting started at 7 am in 7,303 polling stations in Berhampur, Koraput, Nabarangpur, and Kalahandi parliamentary constituencies along with 28 assembly segments within the jurisdiction of these Lok Sabha seats.

Lok Sabha and assembly elections are being held simultaneously in Odisha.

Officials said that 64.81 per cent of voters exercised their franchise.

The highest voter turnout was recorded in tribal-majority Nabarangpur LS seat at 68.74 per cent followed by Kalahandi (68.50), Koraput (61.43) and Berhampur (60.26).

For assembly segments, the highest 71.30 per cent of voting was recorded at Dabugam and the lowest 47.90 per cent in Chhatrapur Vidhan Sabha.

“The voter turnout could increase as the polling continued in certain booths even after the end of voting time at 6 pm,” an official said.

There was no major law and order issue and the voting was peaceful in the Left Wing Extremism hit places like Swabhiman Anchal (earlier known as cut off area) in Malkangiri district and Sunabeda sanctuary area in Nuapada district.

The polling officials and election equipment were airdropped in Nuapada in view of the situation there, a senior official said.

Chief Electoral Officer Nikunja Bhiari Dhal said that EVM glitches were detected in several places and the machines were replaced within 30 minutes.

"People of Kotia area under Koraput LS seat also participated in large numbers," Dhal said.

Kotia area is located bordering Andhra Pradesh.

The CEO also said that the Election Commission received reports of poll boycott from some places over local issues.

"We have directed the Ganjam collector to suspend presiding officers of three polling booths and arrest two of them for serious dereliction of duty," Dhal said.

Meanwhile, both the ruling BJD and the opposition BJP have claimed that they performed exceptionally well in the first phase of the elections.

“We will win all the four LS seats and 90 per cent of the 28 assembly segments,” BJD leader Amar Patnaik said in a press conference.

BJP Odisha unit president Manmohan Samal also made a similar claim and said that the party candidates will spring surprise in the first phase of elections.

Of the four LS seats, Berhampur and Nabarangpur are held by the BJD, while Kalanhandi and Koraput are held by the BJP and the Congress respectively.

Of the 28 Assembly segments, the BJD had secured 20 seats followed by BJP (Four), Congress (three) while one seat was won by an Independent candidate in 2019 elections.

Altogether 17,000 security personnel including 104 companies of central forces were deployed for the elections.

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Published 13 May 2024, 19:45 IST

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