BHUBANESWAR: As many as 41 per cent voters exercised their franchise till 1 pm on Thursday in the first phase simultaneous polls in Odisha. The elections are being held in four Lok Sabha and 28 assembly constituencies in the State.
Despite initial hiccups of delay in voting due to technical glitches in EVMs at a few places, polling is going on smoothly in all four parliamentary constituencies - Kalahandi, Nabarangpur, Berhampur and Koraput.
Sources said polling was delayed by nearly an hour at Jeypore municipality, Jodi village under Meerabali panchayat and Bhakurguda under Kottapeta panchayat in Rayagada district as the EVMs were found defunct. Voting resumed after the machines were replaced.
Tribal dominated districts like Malkangir, Nabarangpur, Koraput, Kalahandi and Rayagada recorded good turnout of voters in the first four hours of polling. While Nabarangpur recorded highest 45 per cent, Kalahandi recorded 39 per cent till 1 pm.
Similarly, 43 per cent voter turnout was reported in Berhampur Lok Sabha segment and 42 pc in Koraput constituency. A significant turnout of tribals and women voters is likely to play a pivotal role in the polls.
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Surendra Kumar said there were reports of technical snags in EVMs from some places. These complaints were attended immediately and machines replaced within 30 to 40 minutes, he said.
"Polling is going on smoothly and peacefully in all four parliamentary constituencies. We are connected with the district election officers through webcasting. There is no report of law and order problem from any constituency," he clarified. Senior leaders like former union minister Chandra Sekhar Sahu, former MP Pradip Majhi, State ministers Ramesh Majhi and Surya Narayan Patro are seeking mandate in the first phase.