77% turnout in final phase of elections


Bhubaneswar: State Election Commissioner RN Senapati in a statement has said that the fifth and final phase of the three-tier Panchayat elections was held peacefully in the state on Tuesday with 77 per cent voter turnout recorded.

Informing media persons, the Commissioner informed that the highest 88 per cent polling was recorded in Subarnapur district while the lowest 67 per cent voter turnout was reported in Ganjam district. He said reports of disturbances at some places in the State were received. Polling process was disrupted at some polling booths due to errors in ballot papers.

The final phase of Panchayat polls covered 16,148 wards under 16,148 gram panchayats of 150 zilla parishad zones in 58 blocks across 26 districts out of 30, barring Angul, Boudh, Jharsuguda and Malkangiri districts. Arrangements were in place for 44,50,893 voters to exercise their franchise.

Director General of Police (DGP) KB Singh said they have made special arrangements for possible post-poll violence.

Polling went on smoothly in the Maoist infested districts in the state with deployment of adequate security personnel at some sensitive and hypersensitive booths.

The panchayat polls, which were held in five phases, began on February 13.

As per sources, out of 853 Zila Parishad (ZP) zones, elections were held for 848 seats. Elections could not be held for two seats in Chitrakonda block while others were declared uncontested. Besides, elections were held for 6,665 seats in the panchayat samitis, 6,802 sarpanches.

Officially, the results will be declared on February 25.


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