Odisha sees 70 percent polling
Amid stray incidents of violence, about 70 percent of the electorate Thursday cast their ballot in the second and final phase of polling for 11 Lok Sabha and 77 assembly seats in Odisha, officials said.
State chief electoral officer Mona Sharma said the voting percentage was calculated on the basis of information collected over phone and more accurate figures would emerge later.
She said polls were peaceful in all the areas, except stray incidents of rigging and disturbances.
Unidentified miscreants damaged four voting machines in Niali area of Cuttack after an engineer entered a polling station illegally. The engineer was arrested, she said.
Similarly, in Karanjia of Mayurbhanj district, villagers detained an officer for a few hours after he wanted to motivate them as they abstained from voting over some local issue. No voting was recorded at that polling station, she said.
Over 15 million voters were eligible to cast their vote to decide the fate of 98 candidates contesting the 11 Lok Sabha seats and 747 candidates vying for the 77 assembly seats.
Prominent among the Lok Sabha candidates are Congress stalwart and union minister Srikant Jena, ruling Biju Janata Dal's industrialist-turned politician Baijayant Jay Panda, and editors of two leading local dailies, BJD's Tathagata Satpathy and Bhatruhari Mahtab.
All are members of the outgoing Lok Sabha and are seeking re-election.
Prominent among candidates seeking re-election to the state assembly are eight ministers of the state government.
They are Damodar Rout, Devi Prashad Mishra, Maheswar Mohanty, Pratap Keshari Deb, Badri Narayan Patra, Bijoyshree Routray, Rajanikant Singh and Arun Sahu.
Around 75 percent polling was recorded in the first phase of polls April 10 for 10 Lok Sabha and 70 assembly seats in the state. Re-polling was also held Thursday at 22 polling stations where voting was disrupted in the first phase.
(Posted on 17-04-2014)