After numerous instances of poll violence in the first phase, the second phase of Panchayat Elections in Odisha kicked off on Friday with much enthusiasm but with caution and security in place.
As per the data released by the State Election Commission (SEC), about 20 per cent of voters have turned up to exercise their adult franchise till 9 am today. But several incidents of vote boycott and other irregularities have been reported from the length and breadth of the State.
- Residents of two villages-Baradajodi and Lalipadar in Nabarangpur's Tentulikhunti Gram Panchayat have boycotted the elections alleging no provision of basic amenities for them from the administration.
- Voting exercise was also briefly halted in booth number 15 of Kurang Sasan in Cuttack district when the local residents staged a protest after police allegedly took some people into detention. However, polling was later resumed after police administration held a discussion with the locals.
- Similarly, vote boycott was also reported from two hamlets in Dhenkanal district. Residents of Durgaprasad village have stayed away from vote due to non-fulfilment of their demands for revenue tag to their village.
- Voting was also affected in Mahulapunji village where people launched a protest over a poultry farm.
- Likewise, residents in as many as three villages also reportedly refused to cast their votes due to the long distance to the polling booth.
- Giving calls for poll boycott over lack of road and cellphone tower, locals of Harichandanpur village have also reportedly expressed their unwillingness to take part in the voting.
- Latest reports confirmed that voting process was stopped in booth number 5 of Badbalikuda panchayat in Jajpur over alleged irregularities in the symbol of a ward member in fray for the rural elections.
- Poll violence has also been reported from two booths in Sadar block of Jagatsinghpur. Miscreants have reportedly decamped with ballot box from a booth while in another, voting has been stopped due to unrest following refusal of entry to a polling agent.