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73 per cent voter turnout in second phase Panchayat polls




 The second phase of Panchayat elections in Odisha was held today amid tight security and registered a 73 per cent voter turnout.

"An average of 73 per cent voters cast their votes. Though there were some reports of stray incidents, polling was by and large peaceful," State Election Commissioner Rabinarayan Senapati told reporters here.

While Dhenkanal district reported the highest of 84 per cent voter turnout, the Maoist-hit Malkangiri district registered the lowest 64 per cent of polling, Senapati said adding, incidents like ballot paper snatching and disruption of polling have been reported.
He said the SEC has sought reports from the district authorities concerned.
"Repolling, if any, will be held after receiving the District Collectors' reports. No polling is now planned in the areas where people have boycott elections," Senapati said.
The second phase of polling was held in 174 Zilla Parishad zones under 65 blocks in 29 districts, while the candidate at Polsara Zilla Parishad in Ganjam district won uncontested.
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.
Unidentified miscreants captured a polling booth in Rayagada district after more than 15 persons barged into polling booth number 6 at Radhanga village under Bisam Katak block in the district and allegedly thrashed the Presiding Officer and Polling Officers for opposing proxy voting.
A report from Ganjam district said ballot papers were snatched in at least seven booths in Sanakhemundi block.
"We have submitted a report in this regard to the SEC," Election Officer-cum-Block Development Officer, Naresh Chandra Sabara said. He said around 50 people entered the polling  booths and snatched the ballot papers. While some of them tore ballot papers, others forcibly dropped them into the ballot boxes.
In Kendrapara, miscreants snatched ballot papers and tore them in booth no. 17 in Adanga village under Indalo gram panchayat. A group of miscreants barged into the booth and tore the papers, officials said.
The Police later retrieved the mutilated ballot papers. The district election office has been informed about the incident, Kendrapara Additional Superintendent of Police Bikash Chandra Dash said.
In another incident, two persons who had run away with four ballot papers from the Chandol polling booth, were detained, he said.
The Police have registered a case in this connection after the Presiding Officer lodged a complaint, he said.
Kendrapara Collector Muralidhar Mallick said "The administration has apprised the SEC of the post-poll disturbance in Indalo GP."





Editorial

Précis 2017
From asking his party men to ‘live a simple life and serve the people’ to taunting the BJP for its ‘crocodile tears’, Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has not only become politically invincible, he seems to be so in the coming years too.

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