BHUBANESWAR: The turnout of the voters during the ongoing panchayat polls is on an upwardly mobile graph with each passing round. On Sunday, the fourth phase elections saw 76 per cent polling amidst reports of errors in ballot papers.
The third phase of the rural polls had recorded 75 per cent polling following 73 per cent in second and 71 per cent in the first round of voting. Sonepur district, which had reported the highest 86 per cent polling in the third phase, went a notch above and recorded 87 per cent polling on the day.
The lowest voter turnout of 65 per cent was reported in Ganjam district. In the last phase, it was 66 per cent.
As many as eight districts of Sonepur, Sambalpur, Kalahandi, Jagatsinghpur, Dhenkanal, Deogarh, Cuttack and Balangir recorded above 80 per cent polling.
State Election Commissioner RN Senapati told mediapersons that barring minor disturbances at a few places, the fourth phase polling was by and large peaceful across the State.
As many as 162 Zilla Parishad (ZP) member posts went to election in 62 blocks of 28 districts in the State on the day across 17,876 Wards under 1,324 gram panchayats (GPs). The SEC said measures were initiated to facilitate voting by 50.6 lakh voters during the fourth phase polls.
Senapati said the election process was disturbed at some polling booths due to erroneous ballot papers. ‘’We can take a decision on re-polling in these booths after getting a detailed ground report from the Collectors,’’ he said.
The SEC said polling could not take place at four booths under Begunia block of Khurda district and one booth in Banspal block of Keonjhar where the election was to be conducted for Sarpanch post.
In the fourth phase, election to all posts in Angul, Boudh, Jharsuguda and Malkangiri districts have come to an end.
Meanwhile, campaigning for the fifth and last phase of elections on Tuesday came to an end on the day. In 58 blocks of 26 districts, fate of 150 ZP member seats will be decided in the final phase of what has turned out to be a fascinating rural polls so far.
The polling will be held across 16,148 Wards in 1,137 GPs where 44.5 lakh voters would exercise their rights.
For Belapada ZP zone in Balangir, election results would not be announced as election to one GP has been stayed as per court orders. Later, the polling would be held as per court direction and the final result declared.