Pradeep Singh

During the fourth phase of Odisha Panchayat elections, voting took place in Nagada village for the time in the last 20 years. People of this village in Jajpur district had been deprived of their democratic right for the past two decades owing to lack of road connectivity.

Nagada, which made headlines in 2016 after several children from the area died due to acute malnutrition, witnessed 83 per cent voter turnout during the fourth phase of the Panchayat election on Tuesday, informed State Election Commissioner Aditya Prasad Padhi.

Similarly, the Dongria Kondhs of the Niyamgiri hills under Parshalli Panchayat in Kalyansinghpur Block of Rayagada district participated in the rural polls after a long hiatus of 15 years. 

As per the State Election Commissioner, the Maoist-infested Niyamgiri-Trilochanpur witnessed 80 per cent voter turnout during the fourth phase Panchayat polls today.

Earlier, Niyamgiri Pahada Surkhya Samiti used to select candidates unanimously for various posts at the Panchayat level while keeping in mind the unity of the community. 

The fourth phase of the rural elections was held today in 64 Blocks of 27 districts. Around 51,31,000 voters sealed the fate of their representatives for 163 Zilla Parishads and 1,254 Panchayats. 

Of the total five tranches of the Panchayat elections in the State, the fifth phase will take place on February 24 while the centralized counting of votes will be held at Block headquarters on February 26, 27 and 28.