BHUBANESWAR: Odisha recorded 71.61 per cent (pc) polling in the third phase elections held in six Lok Sabha and 42 Assembly constituencies on Tuesday.Polling percentage in these Lok Sabha constituencies was only one per cent higher than 2014 General Elections in which around 72.8 per cent voters had exercised their franchise.
However, voter participation witnessed a drop in Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Puri and Cuttack but increased slightly in Sambalpur and Bhubaneswar.
As per the statistics of Election Commission of India (ECI), Keonjhar recorded the highest voter turnout of 78.16 pc in the third phase polls. However, polling in the constituency was around two pc less than the 2014 elections in which the voter turnout was 80.54 pc.Similarly, Dhenkanal recorded a polling percentage of 74.98 pc against 72.53 pc in 2014 while Cuttack witnessed 69.65 pc voter turnout against 71.49 pc in the last elections. Puri also recorded a polling percentage of 72.53 against 74 in 2014.
In Sambalpur and Bhubaneswar, the polling was 76.38 pc and 59.60 pc against 75.92 pc and 58.38 pc respectively in 2014 elections. The State Capital, however, continued to remain the constituency with the lowest voter turnout in Odisha for the third consecutive General Elections. In 2009 polls, Bhubaneswar had witnessed voter participation of only 49.14 per cent.
The statistics also revealed that the polling percentage was gradually declining in each phase of the elections this time in Odisha. The polling percentage was 73.76 in the first phase on April 11 and 72.76 in the second phase on April 18.
Around 34.23 lakh male and 32.06 lakh female voters exercised their franchise in the third phase polls, said Chief Electoral Officer Surendra Kumar.
Like in the second, cross-pairing of EVMs as well as stray incidents of violence marred the election process in various parts of the State in the third phase. EVM glitches also delayed voting in certain booths of Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Angul, Dhenkanal, Kuchinda and Banki Assembly segments. Poll violence was reported from Bramhagiri in Puri and a few other places.