“About 63-64 per cent polling is recorded by 5 pm. Polling today passed off peacefully. The numbers are likely to change”, Surendra Kumar, chief electoral officer, (Odisha) told media persons.
Although polling was largely uneventful, voting was stopped at six booths due to cross-pairing of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPATs) machines.
“We have sent detailed reports to the Election Commission and urged for conducting the re-polling in these six booths,” said Kumar.
Out of five Lok Sabha constituencies, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) won four seats, while one seat was pocketed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during 2014 elections. Union tribal affairs minister Jual Oram won from Sundergarh in 2014, the lone Parliamentary seat bagged by BJP in Odisha.
The second phase of the staggered polls in Odisha will decide the electoral fortunes of heavyweights like Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Jual Oram, BJD's Rajya Sabha MP Prasanna Acharya, noted educational entrepreneur turned politician Achyuta Samanta and sitting Lok Sabha MP Kalikesh Narayan Singhdeo. Leader of Opposition in Odisha assembly Narasingha Mishra of Indian National Congress (INC) and BJP legislature party leader K V Singhdeo are also in the fray.
The next two phases of polling in the state are scheduled on April 23 and April 29.