Saturday, February 29, 2020
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Stage set for 3rd phase panchayat polls in State




 An estimated 53,234,993 people will exercise their franchise for the election of 1394 Panchayat Samiti members and 18,859 Ward Members in 175 Zilla Parishad (ZP) zones in 65 blocks of 30 districts in the third phase for which polling is being held tomorrow.

Preparations are completed for the third phase in all the 30 districts, said State Election Commission Secretary Rabindranath Sahoo here today.

He said the polling parties have arrived at their respective polling booths this afternoon and additional police force have been deployed at the sensitive booths to ward off any untoward incident and ensure free and fair polls.

“Besides, elaborate security measures have been taken in the Maoist prone districts,” he added.

Sahoo further said that in the third phase Panchayat polls, polling would be held in Deogarh district which was scheduled in the first phase polls but was deferred due to security reasons.

Elections is being held for 26 Sarpanches, 26 Panchayat Samiti members and 312 Ward Members in two Zilla Parishad zones of Riamal block in which 74,163 people would exercise their franchise. A three-tier security arrangement has been put in place in Deogarh district to maintain law and order during the polls,  he added.

Sahoo said the Commission has received reports on 21 incidents of violence and two incidents relating to poll disturbances during the second phase yesterday.

“The Commission has received reports from the district collectors who have recommended repolling in some booths where violence was reported during polling. The Commission would take a decision after analysing these reports very soon,” he added.

He, however, said as compared to the first phase polls, the incidents of violence was low in the second phase polls.

Meanwhile, poll-related violence continued in several parts of the State leaving several persons injured in clashes.

Several people were injured in group clashes and houses burnt in at least two places as poll related violence continued unabated in different parts of Odisha during the ongoing Panchayat elections.

While rival groups set fire on four houses today at Podana village under Niali block in Cuttack district following a clash where one person died two days ago, the son of a Zilla Parishad member candidate of BJP was allegedly kidnapped by the rival groups in Kendrapara district.

In an incident of post-poll violence, a group of miscreants hurled country bombs at the house of a contestant for Sarpanch post in Karilopatana gram panchayat.

In Tentulihandi village under Chandbali police station of Bhadrak district, four people, including a woman, were injured in a clash between two political groups.

The police, however, claimed there was no group clash, but two neighbours got into a confrontation over a dog being hit by a motorcycle.

In Samukanendi village under Ghasipura police limits in Keonjhar district, two persons were seriously injured in a clash between two rival groups. The injured have been admitted to the hospital, the police said.

Violence was also reported from Kishorenagar block in Angul as clashes broke out between two groups after the polls.

At Athgarh in Cuttack district, two factions of the ruling BJD clashed in front of Dorada Panchayat office. One Subhash Bhoi was injured in the attack and has been admitted to Athgarh hospital, the police said.

Meanwhile, South Western DIG S Saini toured visited Narayanpatna area of Koraput district to oversee security arrangements in the wake of threats from red rebels.

She was accompanied by Koraput SP Charan Singh Meena and other senior police officials.

They later held discussions with BSF officials in a camp and discussed the Maoist situation in the area.

Saini told reporters that arrangements have been made to provide adequate security to polling officials with deployment of additional police force in Narayanpatna.






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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