48.95% Voter Turnout By 3 PM In Odisha Amid Stray Incidents Of Violence During Phase II

Bhubaneswar: Odisha recorded 48.95 per cent voter turnout by 3 pm even as tension prevailed in several areas following stray incidents of violence during second phase of polling in five Lok Sabha and 35 Assembly constituencies on Monday.

According to Chief Electoral Officer’s (CEO) office, Bargarh Parliamentary constituency registered the highest voter turnout of 53.88 per cent, followed by Sundargarh with 48.96 per cent polling.

Similarly, Kandhamal, Balangir and Aska Lok Sanha constituencies registered 48.93 percent, 46.96 percent and 46.23 percent polling respectively by 3 pm.

Sources said tension prevailed at a polling booth in Bhanjanagar after BJD workers allegedly attempted booth capturing. The incident reportedly took place at a booth in Beruanbadi village under Turun area when polling was in progress.

In another incident, an autorickshaw driver was allegedly hacked to death by armed miscreants near a polling booth at Sarsara village in Bargarh district. The killing took place when the auto driver was carrying some voters to the polling booth.

The polling began peacefully at 7 am in Aska, Kandhamal, Balangir, Bargarh, and Sundargarh parliamentary constituencies, along with 35 assembly segments under these Lok Sabha seats. While 40 candidates are in the poll fray in the five Lok Sabha seats, 265 contestants are vying for 35 assembly segments.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Nikunja Bihari Dhal said that voting was underway smoothly and peacefully barring some stray incidents.

He said that EMVs were replaced in some booths during the mock polls and also after the polling began.

Dhal said that webcasting arrangements have been made at over 5,400 polling stations.

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