BHUBANESWAR: Odisha recorded 33 per cent voter turnout till 1 pm on Thursday as EVM glitches at several places marred second phase polls in the State.
A comparatively low voter turnout has been recorded in the second phase as around 41 per cent voters had cast their votes during the first phase on April 11.
Polling is underway in 9,207 polling stations of five Lok Sabha seats - Aska, Kandhamal, Balangir, Bargarh and Sundargarh and 35 assembly segments spread over 11 districts.
Though no violence was reported so far, Natabar Behera (96) of Kansamari village reportedly fell down while waiting in queue to cast his vote at booth no. 183 in Sanakhemundi assembly segment of Ganjam district and died.
Flaws in EVM delayed polling for nearly an hour at several booths in Loisinga, Kurei and Alaglpur in Balangir parliamentary constituency, six booths in Bonai, some booths in Talasara and two booths in Phulbani assembly constituencies.
Sources said voters boycotted polling in Babaja and Kankaria villages in Balangir assembly constituency and Gumi and Dhipamala panchayats in Daspalla constituency over lack of basic amenities and other issues.
Residents of Bhainsapalli village in Balangir district refused to exercise their franchise protesting the naming of their railway station. They alleged though the railway station is located in their village, it has been named after the neighbouring village.
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Surendra Kumar said despite initial hiccups following snags in EVMs polling is underway peacefully and no untoward incident has been reported.
“Security has been tightened for the second phase polls in the Maoist-affected areas of these constituencies post-Phulbani violence in which a woman polling supervisor was gunned down,” he said.
As per the guidelines of the Election Commission of India, Kumar said, the kin of the polling supervisor Sanjukta Digal will be provided an ex-gratia of Rs 30 lakh.
A total 76.93 lakh voters comprising 39.45 lakh male and 37.47 lakh female will cast their vote to decide the fate of 279 candidates including heavyweights like Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Union Cabinet Minister Jual Oram and Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra.
Mishra levelled allegation of EVM tampering after voting was delayed in some parts of Balangir constituency.