Vikash Sharma

The first phase of Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Odisha is currently underway. The fate of several heavyweights of the BJP, BJD and Congress will be decided in four parliamentary seats like Berhmapur, Koraput, Kalahandi and Nabarangpur by the voters today. However, incidents of EVM glitches were reported from several places. Besides, tension reported after a BJP agent was allegedly denied entry to a booth in the early hours today.

As per initial reports, ruckus prevailed outside 146 booth at Nua Maisanpur of Chikiti in Berhampur after a BJP political agent was not allowed inside the booth today. The incident occurred when the mock poll was being conducted at the booth. As the incident occurred early in the morning, it did not created much problems in the voting process, sources said.

The situation was brought to normalcy after adequate force reached the booth. The video of the incident with people holding wooden sticks soon went viral on social.

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As per the latest report, the agent was subsequently allowed inside the booth and the voting process is going on smoothly at the booth.

EVM Glitches

Technical glitches in EVM today delay polling in Booth No. 66 at Malkangiri's Kumutiguda, Booth No. 101 at Nuapada, Booth No. 89 and 72 at Khariar's Loharapali and Podapali respectively. EVM glitches were also reported voting in Booth No. 160 and 194 in Jeypore and Booth No. 59 and 60 at Boriguma.

CEO Speaks Odisha Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Nikunja Bihari Dhal today informed that the voting is being conducted in 7303 polling booths in the state and glitches in EVMs were observed during the conduct of the mock polls between 5:30 am at 7 am. The machines have been subsequently replaced.

According to Dhal, around 52 ballot units, 58 control units, 43 VVPAT machines have been replaced.

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"It is less than 1 percent of the total booths. Such problems are usually detected during mock polls and it will not have any impact on the voters and voting as extra machines are usually commissioned along with 50 percent EVMs Any glitches in EVMs will be resolved or replaced within 30 minutes,” said Dhal.

Official sources said that Odisha recorded 9.25 percent voting till 9 am today. Koraput reported highest percentage of 13.14, followed 10.20 percent in Gajapati and 9.98 percent in Nuapada.