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Over 53 lakh voters to exercise franchise in second phase of Panchayat polls tomorrow




 Nearly 54 lakh voters will exercise their franchise to elect their Zilla Parishad, Samiti and Panchayat ward members  in 18,581 wards in 1386 panchayat across the State when polling is held in the second phase tomorrow.

The State Election Commission (SEC) today said all arrangements are in place for the second phase polling for panchayat elections scheduled to be held across 65 blocks.

Polling will be held in 174 Zilla Parishad constituencies spread across 29 districts except Deogarh, said SEC secretary Rabindanath Sahoo.

He said as many as 53,62,814 voters will cast their votes to elect their Zilla Parishad, Samiti and Ward members, along with Sarpanchs. The Zilla Parishad candidate of Polsara has already won uncontested.

Like the first phase, the second phase of polling will also start at 7 AM and continue till 12 noon. Counting of votes will start from 1 PM, Sahoo said adding, CCTVs and videography arrangements have been made in hyper-sensitive and sensitive booths.

The SEC said District Collectors and Superintendents of Police have been instructed to ensure free and fair polling.

Campaigning for this phase had closed last evening with senior leaders of all parties addressing rallies at different places.

Meanwhile, the SEC has ordered repoll in as many as 44 booths by February 21 from where reports of looting ballot boxes and other violent incidents were reported.

It has also ordered stricter security measures to prevent recurrence of violent incidents, SEC said.

SEC Secretary Rabindra Nath Sahu said as per preliminary reports received from Collectors, repoll is likely to conducted at 15 booths in Cuttack district, 13 in Puri, 11 in Kendrapara and five in Jajpur.

Sahu said cases of the poll violence including ballot box snatching occurred at many places after the counting.

In view of the attack on the polling  party by some miscreants on its return from the polling booth in Kendrapara district yesterday, Sahu said the polling officials have been asked to stay in the booth after the polling if there is no adequate security cover.






Editorial

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