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2019 LS polls: Violence, EVM snag in Odisha

While BJP’s Kendrapara candidate  Baijayant Panda alleged that BJD workers were threatening voters in Mahanga, Chief Electoral Officer Surendra Kumar said voting remained peaceful.

Published: 30th April 2019 09:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th April 2019 09:47 AM   |  A+A-

Muslim women voters showing their identity cards before casting votes at a polling station in Kendrapara district on Monday

Muslim women voters showing their identity cards before casting votes at a polling station in Kendrapara district on Monday | Biswanath Swain

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Sporadic incidents of violence and EVM snag marked the fourth and final phase of General Elections in the  State on Monday with around 66 per cent polling registered till 5 pm.

Ruling BJD and Opposition BJP workers were engaged in a clash at booth no 242 in Salepur, while a  Congress worker was stabbed to death allegedly by his political rivals at Noliasahi near Gadakujanga in Balikuda-Erasama Assembly segment. The victim, Lachman Behera, had quit BJD and joined the Congress  on Sunday. He was attacked while returning from a nearby polling station after casting his vote.
However, Chief Electoral Officer Surendra Kumar said voting remained peaceful. “Whatever complaints and reports we have received regarding poll irregularity will be examined,” he said.

Poll violence was also reported from various parts of the Lok Sabha seats. BJP’s Kendrapara candidate  Baijayant Panda alleged that BJD workers were threatening voters in Mahanga and attacked BJP workers  in the area. BJD leaders also levelled allegations of booth rigging by BJP in more than 10 booths. A video showing a man inside booth no 310 of Aul Assembly segment in Kendrapara influencing voters also  went viral on social media. In another video, a woman was seen influencing voters at booth no 169 at  Nuagaon in Jagatsingpur.

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Acting on complaints, Jajpur Collector and Returning Officer Ranjan Kumar Das suspended three polling  officials including two presiding officers for dereliction of duty and allegedly influencing voters during polling.  Presiding Officer of booth no 191 Baikunthanath Mallick and Presiding Officer of booth no 135, Dhirendra  Tripathy in Binjharpur were suspended for asking voters to vote for  a particular party.

The Collector has also instructed  police to arrest the two polling officials. Another polling officer Janardan Prusty of booth no 196 in Sukinda  was put under suspension.EVM snags delayed voting at booth no booth no 226 and 128 in Aul and booth no 213 in Mahanga in  Kendrapara. Polling was also disrupted for hours at booth number 71, 183, 198 and 220 of Bhandaripokhari  Assembly segment; booth no 222, 244, 245 and 243 of Dhamnagar segment and booth no 14 and 216 of Chandbali segment in Bhadrak LS constituency due to glitches in EVMs.Voting was also affected at booth no 46 and 208 of Soro Assembly segment and booth no 119, 109 and  110 of Simulia segment in Balasore constituency.



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