Even as the State has seen an average turnout of over 78 percent in five phases of the today concluded Panchayat elections, the blemish of booth rigging, ballot paper snatching and kidnapping of contestants lingered on the final day too.
As per the SEC data, the number of eligible voters in this election was over 2.79 crore as against around 2.60 crore in 2017.
What appears significant here is when the number of eligible voters in the State has been 7 percent higher than that of in 2017, the average turnout in 2022 Panchayat polls have been marginally higher by about 1 percent vis-a-vis the average turnout of 78.3 percent in 2017.
The last phase of the Panchayat polls that concluded today had the least number of voters vis-a-vis the last 4 phases. The number of eligible voters in the final round of the polls have been estimated at over 4.18 lakh. While the polling percentage has been tentatively estimated at over 70 percent, the final figures, as per sources, will hover between 78.3 -78.9 percent.
Among the 5-phase staggered Panchayat polls held in the State, the first phase had the highest eligible voters totalling to over 6.7 lakh and the fifth leg has the least of over 4.1lakh.
District Wise Voter Turnout
Here is a list of districts that have exhibited significantly higher turnout (around 4 percent) this year vis-a-vis 2017.
- Angul (81.23 pc) --- Last time BJD: BJP at 16: 12 seats. High polling shows close contest again.
- Bolangir (74.75 pc) --- In 2017, BJD won 8, BJP 23, The turnout hints at neck to neck race.
- Bhadrak (77.8 pc) ---- In 2017, BJD won 24, BJP 4. The high polling percentage shows BJP may improve its tally.
- Cuttack (79.1 pc) ---- BJD had won 37 and BJP 8, Larger turnout hints at an improvement for BJP.
- Dhenkanal (80.25 pc) ---- BJD -BJP seat tally in 2017 was 15:12, the large polling percentage hints at neck to neck race.
- Jharsuguda (83.6 pc, up by 2 percent) --- BJD won in zero seats, Congress in 7 and BJP 1. The new factor is Naba Das (State Health Minister in BJD camp). BJD will sweep the district.
- Koraput (81.7 pc) --- Turnout high. Its advantage BJD here.
- Puri (78.6 pc, 2 pc higher) --- Close contest. BJP may improve tally.
- Nabarangpur ( 83 pc up by 2 pc) ---- New political twist - BJD inducted Congress leader Pradeep Majhi. Advantage BJD here.
- Nayagarh (Up 2 pc at 77.2 pc) ---- Hit by minor girl (Pari) murder storm. BJD still ahead, but BJP may up its numbers.
- Sundargarh (around 75 pc) ---- The contest is very close. A neck to neck fight between BJP and BJD here.
List of the districts that witnessed around 4 percent or less decline.
- Jajpur (72 pc , nearly 3 pc down) ----- Violence deterred voters. Advantage ruling party.
- Boudh (83.63 pc) ----- Turnout low, its advantage BJD.
- Mayurbhanj (75 pc) ---- BJP won 49 and BJD 5 in 2017. The lower turnout may impact BJP.
- Jagatsinghpur (78.2 pc) ---- Lower polling percent handles edge to incumbent party BJD.
- Khordha (down 2 pc at 74 pc) --- In such a scenario, its advantage BJD.
- Deogarh (2 pc down at 80.6 pc) --- Low turnout may impact BJP's prospects.
- Ganjam (marginally down to 65.4 pc) --- Advantage BJD.
- Rayagada (78.9 pc, down by 3 pc) ----- Congress had won 11, BJD - 7 and BJP- 4. The lower turnout shows Congress voters didn't come to polling stations. Gain for BJD.
Number of districts that maintain a constant trend of polling.
- Kalahandi (80.7 pc) ----- Mamita murder case rocked the State. The constant turnout shows no emotional voting. Last year BJP had won 33, BJD 1 and Cong 2. BJD may gain more seats.
- Sambalpur (around 85 pc) ---- The results will not throw any big surprise.
- Subarnapur (around 85 pc) ---- The near-constant turnout hints at no change in the political wind.
- Nuapada (around 77.9 pc) ---- Congress may gain few seats courtesy of Chhattisgarh government impact.
- Malakngiri (around 75 pc) ---- Will see a repeat of 2017 Panchayat results.
- Kendrapada (around 74 pc) ---- The 2017 Panchayat poll verdict may see a repeat. No big gain for any party likely.
- Keonjhar (around 78 pc) ----- No party is going to record any big gain.