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Rural polls: Voting for first phase begins

Bhubaneswar/Bolangir/Anandpur: Voting for first phase of the five phases three-tier panchayat polls began at 7 am today for 188 zilla parishad seats, 1,506 sarpanch and samiti member posts across Odisha.

The voting will continue till noon.

In the first phase of the rural polls, the voting is also on for 20,369 ward member posts.

Meanwhile, polling agents did not turn up at nine booths under K.Baliapal panchayat under Hatadihi block in Keonjhar district as villagers had decided to boycott the panchayat election.

In a case of pre-poll violence, two groups clashed in Nrutang panchayat under Mahanga block following which six persons including a samiti member were detained by the local police.

In a related development, Maoists torched three tractors and a JCB machine at Kuliamunda under Khaprakhol block of Bolangir district and put up posters asking villagers to boycott rural polls a few hours before the voting.

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