Odisha Panchayat elections 2017: 73 percent turnout in second phase

Panchayat Polls 2017 1st Phase : BJD Claims 103 ZP Seats, BJP 71

"We have received information about poll violence including booth rigging, ballot box looting and boycott of voting".

Elections are being held for the first phase on February 16 for 855 seats in 15 Zilla Parishads and 1,712 seats in 165 Panchayat Samitis falling under the jurisdiction of the 15 districts going to polls, it said.

The BJD has won 103 seats of the 188 seats that have already gone to polls in the first phase of the state's Zilla Parishad elections.

RN Senapati claimed that the elections remained peaceful by and large, he admitted of the sporadic untoward incidents reported from various districts. However, no Naxal violence was reported.

Polling was held at 18,581 wards of 1,386 panchayats.

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In Kandhamal district, the voters of five villages in different panchayats in K Nuagon block also boycotted the election while almost 200 voters of Kamangi village under Sithuguda panchayat in the district boycotted the polls protesting non-construction of culvert over a nalha on the outskirt of the village. Five seats were won by other parties. "But BJP got an unprecedented support in the panchayat polls for which I express my heartfelt gratitude to the people of Odisha", he said at an election rally in Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh.

Reportedly, there have a tough fight between BJD and BJP in Cuttack, Nabarangpur, Nayagarh and Kendrapara districts. The booths come under the Korkunda block.

Sources said at some booths in Anandapur block locals allegedly didn't allow polling officials to conduct elections.

Even as total 73 per cent voter turnout recorded in the second-phase panchayat polls on Wednesday, people in a number of places boycotted the rural elections due to different reasons.

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