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Vikash Sharma

Barring stray incidents of violence in some districts, the overall polling for the third phase Panchayat polls was by and large peaceful in Odisha, the State Election Commission (SEC) said on Monday.

As per SEC, the State witnessed 78.6 per cent voter turnout during the third phase polls held on February 20. Once again Sonepur district recorded the highest 87.44% voter turnout, followed by Nabarangpur (86.33), Koraput (84.78) and Angul (84.24).

Jajpur district which witnessed large-scale violence during the polls yesterday saw a voter turnout of 71 per cent. Ganjam district recorded the lowest 66.75% turnout of voters during the third phase polls. The district had also seen lowest turnout of 64.86 per cent voters in the second phase polls held on February 18.

Odisha recorded 78.3 per cent voter turnout in the second phase polling in the ongoing three-tier panchayat elections on February 18.

In the first phase of Panchayat elections held on February 16, 77.2 per cent polling was recorded in the State. Boudh district recorded the highest 84.7 per cent voter turnout followed by Deogarh (83.75), Jharsuguda (82.1), Angul (82.6), Subarnapur (81.56), Kalahandi (81.12), Nabarangpur (80.54) and Koraput (80.2).

Meanwhile, the State Election Commission (SEC) today said that all the preparations have reached final stage for the conduct of the scheduled fourth phase polls to be held tomorrow (February 22).

Over 51 lakh voters will exercise their franchise in the fourth phase polling in the Panchayat elections tomorrow. The voting will be conducted in 17,089 booths in 1254 Panchayats. The SEC said that the polling will held for 163 zilla parishad zones under 163 blocks in the State.

Odisha Police has made elaborate arrangements for security and maintaining law and order during the polls. 257 platoons of police force, 1473 mobile patrolling units will be deployed for the smooth conduct of the fourth phase polls in the State.

In another development, Odisha Police arrested 43 persons in Jajpur,  9 persons in Dhenkanal, 6 in Jagatsinghpur and 24 persons in Puri in connection with the poll disruptions incidents reported in the first three phases of the ongoing panchayat elections so far.

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