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Business Standard

Odisha logs 70% voter turnout in last phase polls

The voter turnout the highest at Angul and adjoining Dhenkanal district at 75%

Voter's

queued up at stations across 11 Lok Sabha constituencies and 77 assembly seats in the second and final phase of elections in the state with the turnout recorded at 70 per cent as per preliminary report available with the office of the chief electoral officer (CEO).

The voter turnout the highest at Angul and adjoining Dhenkanal district at 75 per cent.

“As per the latest data compiled, the turnout is around 70 per cent. Highest turnout was recorded in Dhenkanal and Angul district (75 per cent) with the lowest being at Khurda and Cuttack,” said Mona Sharma, CEO (Odisha).

The turnout at Khurda is tentatively fixed at 60 per cent. The voting percentage in Bhubaneswar was less than 40 per cent as last reported but it may reach 50 per cent, she added.

The low voter turnout in Bhubaneswar is attributed to urban apathy and low electoral rolls.

The Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were damaged at four polling stations (140, 149,178 and 179) at Niali by the miscreants on alleged complaints of rigging.

“One assistant engineer was arrested for unauthorised entry to the poll booth and there may be need for re-poll,” she said.

Similarly, at polling station numbered 137 under Karanjia assembly constituency in Mayurbhanj district, people have boycotted the polls, citing the local issues.

Voters braved a scorching sun, forming long queues and waiting for their turn to cast their votes to decide the fortunes of 98 candidates contesting for Lok Sabha and 747 candidates in the fray for assembly seats.

Re-polling was held in 22 polling stations where suspected Naxals had hampered the electoral process in the first phase of polls on April 10.

Nil polling was registered in eight polling stations at Chitrakonda area in (Malkangiri district) as the voters have boycotted the polls, she added.

The Lok Sabha constituencies, where polling was held today were Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Kendrapada, Jagatsingpur, Puri and Bhubaneswar. Casualties of four officials involved in polling activities were reported that includes one home guard, polling officer and one driver. There is also report of death of one voter in the final phase of polls, sources said.

Prominent leaders, who exercised their franchise, included chief minister Naveen Patnaik, Pradesh Committee president , Jayadev Jena, Governor and former chief minister Janaki Ballav Patnaik and senior BJP leader Biswabhushan Harichandan. Similarly, senior BJD leader and former minister Prafulla Ghadei and chief secretary Jugal Kishore Mohapatra were among the key persons who voted today.

In the first phase, the electorate in western and southern districts had cast their votes for 10 Lok Sabha and 70 assembly seats with the turnout pegged at 75 per cent. The poll results are slated to be declared on May 16.

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