Panchayat polls in Odisha: 70% voter turnout recorded in first phase

Bhubaneswar: The first phase of voting for the election to Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) has been completed in Odisha with 70 per cent polling, an official said on Wednesday.

At least 70 per cent out of 67.51 lakh voters turned up at the booths in this phase. However, the polling percentage may go up as the final report is yet to come, said State Election Commissioner A.P. Padhi.

As per schedule, the voting started at 7 a.m. and continued till 1 p.m. However, in places where voters were seen standing in queue, they were allowed to cast their votes.

Padhi informed that violence has been reported in three booths of Dhenkanal district, seven booths of Jajpur district and five booths of Puri district. The Commission is likely to decide on the next course of action after receiving reports from district collectors, he said.

The Election Commissioner said instructions have been issued to the DGP to ensure law and order conditions during the next four phases of Panchayat polls. The DGP has also been directed to take strong action against the law violators.

The election was held at 22,379 booths for 1,669 Panchayats in 71 Blocks of the State.

Meanwhile, the poll for 13 ward members, 6 Sarpanches, three Panchayat Samiti Members and one ZP member was countermanded due to death of contesting candidates.

Notably, the voter turnout in the 2017 Panchayat poll was around 78 per cent while there was 76.65 per cent polling in the first phase.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Sambad English staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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