Odisha: Phase-II polls peaceful barring stray violence

Sources said BJD workers allegedly attempted booth capturing but were stopped by BJP supporters.
The second phase elections were conducted peacefully in Ganjam, Kandhamal and Boudh districts on Monday.
The second phase elections were conducted peacefully in Ganjam, Kandhamal and Boudh districts on Monday.Photo |Express

BERHAMPUR/BARGARH/JHARSUGUDA : Barring some stray incidents of violence, the second phase elections were conducted peacefully in Ganjam, Kandhamal and Boudh districts on Monday.

At least eight Assembly segments of Ganjam went to polls on the day of which seven come under Aska and one under Kandhamal Parliamentary constituency. By 12 am, Aska recorded 58.99 per cent polling. Bhanjanagar recorded the highest polling of 66.12 per cent and Hinjili the lowest at 58.21 per cent polling.

In Sanakhemundi Assembly seat, most of the residents of Gudiapatana refrained from voting to protest disruption of drinking water supply to their village. In Bhanjanagar, tension flared up at the polling booth in Beruanbadi village after a scuffle broke out between BJD and BJP supporters.

Sources said BJD workers allegedly attempted booth capturing but were stopped by BJP supporters. As both the groups resorted to fisticuffs, voters standing in queues at the polling booth ran away in fear. However, a police team reached the spot and brought the situation under control following which polling resumed. At Krushnapali polling booth in Boudh, a woman voter standing in queue became unconscious reportedly due to intense heat. After provided first-aid to her, ASHA workers and police personnel rushed the woman to Purunakatak hospital.

Sources said the prevailing heatwave conditions affected the voter turnout in Boudh district. By 12 am, the district recorded 75.12 per cent polling. Similarly, Kandhamal recorded 68.77 per cent polling by 12 am.

In all the Assembly seats under Bargarh LS constituency, polling passed off peacefully barring a few incidents of disturbances. Polling started at a slow pace in Bargarh with only 22.95 per cent voter turnout being recorded till 11 am. But brisk polling was witnessed subsequently and by 12 am, the poll percentage was 75.97.

In Jharsuguda, the election was largely peaceful across all the 515 polling booths in the district except a few incidents of violence.

According to returning officer-cum-sub-collector Sabyasachi Panda, voter turnout reached approximately 78.50 per cent in Jharsuguda and 75.02 per cent in Brajrajnagar by 12 am.

BJD candidate Sarada Nayak being forced to return from the polling booth in Rourkela | Express
BJD candidate Sarada Nayak being forced to return from the polling booth in Rourkela | Express

BJD’s Sarada enters booth, faces protest

Tension flared up at Gopabandhupali polling centre after hundreds of voters opposed the entry of BJD candidate from Rourkela Assembly seat Sarada Prasad Nayak into the booth on Monday afternoon. Sources said between 3.30 and 4 pm, Sarada and his supporters entered the polling centre and started greeting voters waiting in queues. BJP voters present on the spot raised a hue and cry and had a face-off with BJD supporters. A scuffle also broke out between some BJD and BJP supporters. However, the situation was brought under control after police intervened and escorted Sarada and his supporters out of the booth. Senior BJP leader Pramila Das claimed Sarada and supporters entered the polling booth and were trying to influence voters which is illegal and in violation of the election code of conduct. Zone III deputy SP Nirmal Mohapatra said no written complaint was received in this connection.

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