Bhubaneswar: Around 68 percent voting was registered in the Urban Local Bodies (ULB) polls in Odisha on Thursday.
“The overall voting percentage will be around 68 across the state. Polling was by and large peaceful barring stray incidents, “State Election Commissioner (SEC) Ajit Kumar Tripathy said.
According to the provisional voting figures, highest polling of 81.16 per cent was recorded in Anandpur in Keonjhar district followed by 81 per cent at Kasinagar in Gajapati district. While Rayagada witnessed 72 per cent polling, Malkangiri recorded 64 per cent and Nabarangpur district recorded 58 per cent polling.
Polling in Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BMC) was low compared to other municipalities and notified area councils (NACs) of Ganjam district. While BMC recorded 62 per cent of polling, Kamakhshyanagar, Paralakhemundi and Balugoan recorded 75 per cent, 65 per cent and 74 per cent polling respectively.
The outcome of the Berhampur Municipal Corporation is keenly watched with the Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) supremo Naveen Patnaik and other BJD heavyweights undertaking pre-poll campaign. A total of 143 candidates are in the race for 43 wards of the corporation.
Similarly, Balasore Municipality recorded low turnout compared to other municipalities and NACs of the district. Balasore recorded 62 per cent polling. Soro, Nilgiri and Jaleswar recorded 69, 70 and 70 per cent polling respectively. Several ULBs in the coastal districts also recorded heavy polling.
While Banpur recorded 70 per cent polling, 75 per cent voters exercised their franchise in Jagatsinghpur. Choudwar and Bhuban recorded 78 per cent and 75 per cent polling respectively. Basudevpur and Bhadrak in Bhadrak district witnessed 75 per cent polling.
A snag in the electronic voting machine at two polling booths of Vyas Nagar Municipality in Jajpur district prompted the State Election Commission (SEC) to order a re-poll on Friday. Counting of Vyasa Nagar Municipality will be held on Saturday, while counting of Jajpur Municipality will be held as per schedule.
Glitches in EVMs were observed in Koraput, Konark, Balasore, Puri and Nabarangpur.
The State Election Commission (SEC) had taken a series of measures to ensure free and fair poll in all the ULBs. Special squads had been deployed to prevent violation of model code of conduct.
Elections in 25 ULBs in nine western Odisha districts were postponed following an agitation by the lawyers’ bodies demanding setting up of High Court Bench in the region which was supported by all the political parties.