Himansu Shekhar Rout

Amid reports of delay in polling in several booths in the Puri parliamentary constituency due to EVM glitches during the third phase of the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Odisha on Saturday, tension prevailed for some time at the Gadarodanga booth in the Brahmagiri Assembly seat where BJP candidate Upasana Mohapatra is in the fray.

Mohapatra brought serious allegations against the presiding officer of the booth and said, “The presiding officer is misbehaving with people coming to vote. BJD agent Biswajit Baliarsingh is telling people not to vote for me inside the booth. How far such activities are legal? This is how the BJD goons are respecting democracy. I have already apprised the collector of the matter.”

However, reaction of the presiding officer has not been received. 

As per reports, an EVM developed a glitch from the very beginning at booth-77 (Gadarodanga) where polling was delayed by one and a half hours. The delay led to tension among voters for some time. 

In view of the delay in polling, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s Lok Sabha candidate for the Puri seat Sambit Patra urged the ECI to extend the voting time.

Speaking to the media, BJP leader Sambit Patra said, "In most booths, EVMs are not working. This is a disturbing situation. People are raising commotion over the delay. The Election Commission of India should take cognizance of this situation and take action.”

Two BJP workers ‘injured in attack by BJD men’

In another incident, BJD and BJP workers had a confrontation at the Government Girls’ High School in the Puri Assembly seat. 

Two BJP workers were allegedly injured in the attack by the BJD workers. Sustaining head injuries, the two were admitted to the Puri Medical College and Hospital.

As for the incident, the president of Puri's BJP Yuva Morcha, Jayant Das alleged that some BJD workers entered the booth and asked some people to vote for the BJD.

“BJP workers opposed such activities by the BJD workers. The BJD workers attacked them brutally. I will file a complaint against the attacker at the Puri Police Station,” Das said.

However, no reaction was received from the BJD.

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