BHUBANESWAR: The State Election Commission (SEC) on Friday shot off a letter to Director General of Police (DGP) KB Singh seeking prompt action against the attackers of senior BJP leader Pratap Sarangi even as the third phase of panchayat elections saw a further jump in polling on Friday.
The poll panel, on February 15, had written another letter to the DGP as well as the Chief Secretary expressing concern over the post-poll violence in the State.
State Election Commissioner RN Senapati pointed out violence after counting of votes and allegations about the involvement of Government servants in political activities in some places.
“I have taken appropriate action on such allegations. There are incidents of violence in the post-poll scenario at different places, which is a matter of serious concern for the Commission,” the February 15 letter said.
Secretary of the poll panel Rabindra Nath Sahu pointed out in the letter that State BJP had submitted a representation in which the party not only raised the issue of attack on Sarangi but also other incidents at Dasamantpur in Jajpur, Bhatli in Bargarh and other places of Kalahandi district where BJP activists have been subjected to attacks.
While the party sought necessary protection to its candidates and leaders, the SEC asked the DGP to take necessary action.
Meanwhile, the third phase of rural polls saw 75 per cent polling recorded after 73 per cent in second and 71 per cent in the first round.
Even as a neck-and-neck contest ensued between the BJD and BJP, Sonepur reported 86 per cent polling. As many as seven other districts including Mayurbhanj, Jharsuguda, Jajpur, Jagatsinghpur, Boudh, Bhadrak and Balangir recorded above 80 per cent voting on the day. The lowest for this round was 66 per cent in Ganjam.
On Friday, 175 Zilla Parishad (ZP) zones went to polls in 65 blocks comprising 1,349 gram panchayats and 18,859 wards.
Senapati said the polling was by and large peaceful except for sporadic violence and disruptions in some places. There were also reports of ballot box snatching. “We have called for reports from the Collectors in all the instances,” the Commissioner said.