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Odisha records 45 % polling for 10 LS, 70 Assembly seats

EVM machine

An estimated 45 per cent voters exercised their franchise till 2:00 PM in 10 Lok Sabha and 70 Assembly constituencies
PollBhubaneswar: An estimated 45 per cent voters exercised their franchise till 2:00 PM in 10 Lok Sabha and 70 Assembly constituencies in Odisha.

A maximum of 57 per cent voters turned out in Angul district, an official of the state Chief Electoral Officer’s (CEO) office here said.

Minimum voting of 31 per cent was recorded in Maoist-hit Gajapati district, he said, adding the voting percentage was 32 per cent in Balangir, 36.7 per cent in Malkangiri, 38 per cent in Bargarh, 37.4 per cent in Nabarangpur and 41 per cent in Nuapada and Rayagada districts.

While in most of the areas affected by Maoists, who had given a call for poll boycott, polling remained below 40 per cent so far, voting was 52 per cent in Nayagarh, 44.4 per cent in Koraput and 48 per cent in Sundargarh, sources said.

Maoists had earlier put up a large number of banners and posters calling for poll boycott in several places of Malkangiri district, SP Akhileswar Singh said, adding that security measures were taken to ensure peaceful polling.

Barring torching of four EVMs and a vehicle in Maoist-hit Mathili area under Chitrakonda assembly segment of Malkangiri district, polling remained peaceful in the constituencies located in 19 districts spread over western and southern Odisha, they said.

Voters in Golamunda and Kelia villages under Junagarh assembly segment in Kalahandi district boycotted the polls alleging government apathy and neglect and lack of proper road communication in their areas. Officials said they were trying to persuade the villagers to cast their vote.

Prominent leaders who exercised their franchise included state BJP President K V Singhdeo who voted in Patnagarh where he is seeking re-election to the assembly.

Senior Congress leader and former union minister Chandrasekhar Sahu voted in Berhampur and BJP’s Dilip Ray cast his vote in Rourkela.

The Lok Sabha constituencies where polling was being held were Kandhamal, Koraput, Kalahandi, Bargarh, Bolangir, Berhampur, Sundargarh, Sambalpur, Aska, Nabarangpur.

It will decide the political fortunes of 98 candidates, including former Congress chief ministers Giridhar Gamang and Hemanand Biswal, former union ministers Jual Oram (BJP) and Bhakta Charan Das (Congress).

Hockey star and former Indian team captain Dilip Tirkey was contesting from Sundargarh LS seat on a BJD ticket. He was pitted against Hemanand Biswal of Congress and Oram.

Prominent Odia cinestar Siddhant Mohapatra was the BJD candidate from Berhampur Lok Sabha seat.

A total 673 aspirants were contesting in 70 assembly seats.


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