Odisha Panchayat Polls: Voting to be held in 63 blocks in third phase of election

Bhubaneswar: The State Election Commission (SEC), Odisha has made elaborate arrangements for the third phase of Panchayat election to be held on Sunday.

As many as 171 Zilla Parishad seats in 63 blocks under 29 districts of the state will go to polls in this phase, an official said on Saturday.

The third phase of Panchayat election will be held at 18,495 booths in 1,382 Gram Panchayats under 63 blocks of 29 districts. Of the total booths, 2,773 have been identified as “sensitive”, said secretary to State Election Commission (SEC), R.N. Sahu.

Over 56.53 lakh voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in this phase. As many as 679 candidates are in the fray for the 171 Zilla Parishad seats, those will go to polls tomorrow, he said.

Polling parties have reached the booths while additional polling personnel will reach by this evening, the secretary said.

Informing about the final polling data on second phase voting for Panchayat election held on Friday, Sahu said there was a 78.3 per cent voters’ turnout during the second phase.

Subarnapur district has recorded the highest voters’ turnout of 85.67 per cent, while lowest 64.86 per cent polling was recorded in Ganjam district during the second phase of voting.

Sahu said the Commission has received proposals for re-polling at 13 booths due to disturbances while error in ballot papers were reported in another three booths during the second phase voting. It had received such proposals from districts for re-polling at 25 booths. The Commission is examining the proposals and very soon a decision will be taken, he added.

Meanwhile, three village guards on Panchayat election duty were killed and several injured when their bus overturned in Nabarangpur district. The incident happened at Sorispadar village near Mokia in Papadahandi block on Friday night.

The SEC secretary said an ex-gratia of Rs 15 lakh will be provided to the family of each deceased.

The fourth phase and the fifth and the final phase of elections will be held on February 22 and 24, respectively. The counting of votes will be conducted from February 26 to 28.

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