Voting for First Phase Today

In Jajpur's Danagadi, violence affected the poll process whereas in Rayagada's Bisamkatak, miscreants entered the booths in a ward and disrupted the voting.

The first phase polling was held in 188 Zilla Parishad (ZP) seats spread over 65 blocks in 29 districts where 716 candidates are contesting.

Bhubaneswar/Kannauj: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today conveyed his heartfelt gratitude to the people of Odisha for their unstinting and unprecedented support to the BJP in the ongoing five-phase Panchayat elections in the state.

RN Senapati claimed that the elections remained peaceful by and large, he admitted of the sporadic untoward incidents reported from various districts. Police security was tightened in the area thereafter.

For the second phase, 6,367 candidates are in the fray after scrutiny of papers for 654 seats in 11 Zilla Parishads, said the Election Commission release.

Besides, locals abstained from exercising their franchise in Baruni village under Tihidi block of Bhadrak district and at nine booths in Kachuadi panchayat under Bhograi block of Balasore district over panchayat restructure.

"Our polling staff waited till end of the voting time and not a single vote was given in the 10 panchayats".

The polling was, like the first phase on Monday, marred by violence at some places.

In the Maoist-hit Malkangiri district, no one turned up to cast their votes in 13 booths in a gram panchayat under Korkonda block, officials said.

Even as total 73 per cent voter turnout recorded in the second-phase panchayat polls on Wednesday, people in a number of places boycotted the rural elections due to different reasons. The elections would be held on February 15, 17, 19 and 21 respectively.

  • Tracy Ferguson