CUTTACK: Barring a few incidents of poll violence and boycotts, the first phase of panchayat elections passed off peacefully in Mahanga and Narasinghpur blocks of Cuttack district on Monday.
Voters’ enthusiasm marked the polling in the district with around 70 per cent voters exercising their franchise. While 81 per cent polling was reported in Narasinghpur, it was 57 per cent in Mahanga and 72 per cent in Cuttack Sadar blocks.
Voters of 10 Wards in two GPs of Narasinghpur block boycotted the election protesting the apathetic attitude of the administration in redressing their grievances over delimitation and reformation of new panchayats.
Similarly, people of six Wards in Balijhari GP boycotted the poll demanding formation of a new panchayat comprising their six Wards. Bahali villagers also boycotted the election over similar demands.
Incidents of poll violence marred the election process in 14 booths of three panchayats under Mahanga block where the administration has recommended to the State Election Commission for re-polling on February 16.
As per reports, supporters of a sarpanch candidate had captured two booths located at Saima Primary School and manhandled the presiding officer. Similarly, in Kurujanga panchayat, some miscreants snatched away ballot box from Bharatpada Patra Sahi booth and threw it to the village pond while supporters of a defeating sarpanch candidate set the ballot papers on fire at booth no. 3 and 4.
Cuttack ADM Raghuram R Iyer said after receiving reports from the presiding officers, the administration will file FIRs against the accused.