Except for a few disruptive incidents, the second phase of the Panchayat elections in Odisha concluded smoothly on Friday with an estimated 71 percent voter turnout, the State Election Commission informed.
A total of 62.10 lakh voters were to cast their votes at 20,436 polling booths to seal the fate of 747 candidates in the fray for the 186 Zilla Parishad (ZP) posts in 1514 panchayats across 68 blocks in the state.
“Polling was disrupted in parts ofand due to violence. Repolling is likely at three places where voting was affected due to errors in ballot papers,” he added.
Polling at booth no-II and III in Kanikapada Panchayat of Jajpur was disrupted after miscreants allegedly tore up ballot papers before fleeing with some of them. In Jagatsinghpur, some miscreants created a ruckus and ransacked two booths at Patasara panchayat under Zilla Parishad zone I.
Voting was stopped at Loisinga Thakurpali Booth-11 in Balangir over allegations that the ballot paper given by the presiding officer had only 3 symbols for 6 sarpanch candidates. Tensions flared up in Ward No. 7 in Dahana panchayat under Nandahandi block in Nabarangpur district after it was found that ballot papers had been tampered with. The ballot papers were found pre-marked in favour of a Sarpanch candidate.
This apart, police had reportedly resorted to lathi-charge after Gaisilet police station in charge sustained injuries on the head following a face-off with people outside the polling booth in Kathaumal village under Gaisilet block in Bargarh district.
This was despite the presence of 240 platoons of the police force and 1753 mobile patrolling parties along with district police officers across the state. The security was heightened to maintain law and order after violent incidents were reported during the first phase.
77.2 percent of voters had voted in the first phase of the elections on Wednesday.