12-hour dharna in Begunia for re-poll

Khurda: The voters and residents of Ward Number 11 under Begunia panchayat in Khurda district on Tuesday staged 12-hour dharna in front of the booth in protest against irregularities in ballot papers. The dharna was lifted in the wee hours today after the administration assured the residents to urge the State Election Commission for re-polling in the ward.

The voters of Ward Number 11 under Begunia panchayat alleged that the ballot papers were folded in such a wrong manner that the symbol of a particular party remained invisible. The villagers complained that it was done intentionally by the polling officials to help the candidates of a particular party win the three-tier panchayat poll. The agitating voters started dharna around four O` clock in the afternoon demanding re-poll in the ward. The entire polling party, the sub-collector, the tehsildar and several other officials were literally held hostage for hours by the villagers.

The district superintendent of police rushed to the ward to control the situation. Two platoons of forces were pressed into service. The villagers finally lifted the dharna around four O` clock in the morning after the returning officer assured that he would request the State Election Commission for re-poll.

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