BHUBANESWAR: The fifth and final phase of the panchayat polls ended on Sunday amidst stray incidents of violence, booth capturing and boycott at several places across the State even as the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) continued with its winning spree. The State Election Commission (SEC) has ordered repolling in 14 wards in which elections were held today. Polling had to be stopped after miscreants snatched away ballot boxes and papers in three wards in Dimiri gram panchayat in Kantapara block of Cuttack district.
Snatching of ballot boxes was also reported from Ward Nos 11 and 12 in Manapada gram panchayat in Bramhagiri block of Puri district. Voting for sarpanch post was cancelled in Ward No.7 of Gitilata gram panchayat of Tiring block of Mayurbhanj district. In all these three places, repolling has been ordered on February 20.
There were reports of booth capturing in Nihalprasad gram panchayat of Gondia block in Dhenkanal district and in five wards of Pankapal gram panchayat and one ward of Mainsia gram panchayat in Danagadi block of Jajpur district.
Tension mounted when about 50 tribal women entered Booth No.9 of Jaanar village on Gobardhanpur panchayat under Danagadi block and attempted to loot ballot boxes. Even though police had to resort to lathicharge to disperse them, a sub-inspector of Tamka police station was injured in the attack. Miscreants snatched away ballot papers in Jali village of Dharakote village in Ganjam district.
Boycott of polls were reported in Ward No.10 of Bhimkhan gram panchayat in Telkoi block and Ward Nos 9 and 10 of Nayakote gram panchayat in Banspal block in Keonjhar district. The voters boycotted the polls because of apathy of the administration towards their problems.
The panchayat polls spread over five phases came to an end on Sunday. However, repolling in some of the wards will be held on Monday. The first four phases of the polls were held on February 11, 13, 15 and 17. While the BJD candidates are expected to win almost 80 per cent of the Zilla Parishad seats in the first four phases, the fifth phase polls also seem to have gone heavily in favour of the ruling party.
Even though the results of the polls are unofficially known, officially it will be announced on February 22.
According to unconfirmed reports, of the 111 Zilla Parishad seats in the fifth phase, more than 80 seats have gone in favour of the BJD while Congress was ahead in 14 seats.