Bhubaneswar: Barring few incidents of loots of ballot boxes and snatching of ballot papers, the third phase of the ongoing Panchayat elections was held today peacefully.
Polling was held at 19,068 booths (wards) in 1, 350 Gram Panchayats, 188 ZP zones covering 1350 Panchayat Samitis. As many as 53.88 lakh voters exercised their franchise to decide the fate of the candidates for the posts of Ward Member, Sarpanch, Samiti Member and ZP member.
The average polling percentage stood at 69 percent. While Boudh with 85 per cent recorded the highest polling percentage, Koraput remained at the bottom with just 50 per cent turn out.
Polling was damaged in seven booths in Bagadia panchayat under Kujang block in Jagatsinghpur district following group clashes between activists of two political parties. Miscreants looted seven ballot boxes and dumped the boxes in water.
Similar situation was witnessed in Bagadia panchayat where miscreants looted three ballot-boxes. Likewise voting for the Zilla Parishad was stopped in Zone Number 3 in Khurda after irregularities were detected in ballot papers. The Election Commission cancelled the polling after it was found that the election symbol of a CPI(M) candidate Sailesh Baliarsingh was wrongly printed.
Polling was also affected in booth number 2,3 and 5 in Trilochanpur panchayat in Kalahandi district as Maoist ultras looted three ballot boxes.