Bhubaneswar: Barring few incidents of loots of ballot boxes and snatching of ballot papers, the second phase of the ongoing Panchayat elections was held today ended peacefully.
Polling was held at 20,481 booths (wards) in 1475 gram panchayats divided into 197 zilla parishad zones spread over 83 blocks in 30 districts. The average polling percentage stood at 69.93 while it was about 83 per cent in Suvarnapur, the highest in the State. Polling was affected in 25 booths in several districts. Approximately 56.54 lakh voters casted their ballot in the second phase of the three-tier panchayat polls today.
The SEC sources said Subarnpur registered the highest turnout of 83 per cent, followed by Khurda 76 per cent, Keonjhar 75 per cent, Jajpur 74 per cent, Nayagarah 73 per cent, Baleswar, Jagatsighpur, Sambalpur and Bhadrak 72 per cent each, Angul, Boudh, Baragarah, Deogaah and Sundergarah districts 71 per cent each, Jaharsuguda, Kendrapada, Puri and Rayagada districts registered voting of 70 per cent each, while Kalahandi recorded 68 per cent. Kandhamal, Koraput and Nuapada and Dhenkanal recorded 65 per cent each. However, during this phase, Cuttack district which created record of 87 per cent in the first phase, had registered only 60 per cent turnout.
Keeping in view poll disruptive activities witnessed at different places during the first phase of elections on Saturday, elaborate Security arrangements were made to ensure peaceful polling. However there have been report of disturbance during the second phase elections as well. In Cuttack miscreants looted and torched five ballot boxes from a booth in Badhakatia Panchayat near Nischintkoili.
Similar incidents happened on Saturday during the first phase elections where ballot boxes of 2 booths of Baisibatiya, 2 booths of Kandidhar, 2 booths of Dagarisana, 2 booths of Khajaria and 1 booth of Sanapatana were thrown to water.
The counting of votes will be held after the poll and the results will be declared by the concerned presiding officers at the booth level. The three-tier panchayat polls will be held in five phases on February 11, 13, 15, 17 and 19.