Nearly 76 per cent of voters across 28 districts in Odisha today cast their votes in the fourth phase of polling for the ongoing Panchayat elections.
Polling was held peacefully in all districts including the Maoist-hit Malkangiri district, barring minor disturbances over defects in ballot papers, said State Election Commissioner Rabinarayan Senapati. While the highest 87 per cent voter turnout was recorded in Subarnapur district, the lowest 65 per cent polling was recorded in Ganjam district, Senapati said.
Voting could not be conducted in four booths of Begunia block in Khurda district and Bansapal block in Keonjhar district due to defective ballot papers, he said. Senapati said the Commission has sought a detailed report from the district Collectors based on which a decision to conduct repolling would be taken.
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He said polling at Gania Zilla Parishad zone in Dhenkanal district was countermanded due to court cases.
A report reaching the SEC office said polling was conducted peacefully in the Maoist-hit Malkangiri district.
People in Berigetta and Techguda gram panchayats in Kalimela block cast their votes with enthusiasm after a gap of 15 years. Three earlier panchayat elections in 2002, 2007 and 2012 could not be held in these gram panchayats due to Maoist threats.
“Drones were deployed to conduct aerial surveillance on several highly sensitive polling booths in the district during voting,” Malkangiri Superintendent of Police Mitrabhanu Mohapatra said. A report from Jajpur district said people boycotted elections at Booth No 11 in Anyaspur gram panchayat of Bari block protesting lack of roads to the village.