Panchayat polls: 60% turnout till 12 noon

Bhubaneswar: The State Election Commission (SEC) on Friday said that more than 60% voter turnout has been recorded in the third phase of the ongoing panchayat elections.

The figure was 45% till 11 am, the SEC said.

The Commission stated due to several reasons polling was cancelled in two places of the State. While errors in ballot papers were found in one zone of Lahunipada gram panchayat in Sundergarh district, polling parties were attacked in a zone under Dasarathpur block in Jajpur district.

The Commission is expected to announce a fresh date for repolling in these two zones.

A total of 53,23,993 people would exercise their franchise for the election of 1394 Panchayat Samiti members and 18,859 Ward Members in 175 Zilla Parishad (ZP) zones of 65 blocks in 30 districts.

Official sources said additional police forces have been deployed at sensitive booths to ward off any untoward incident and ensure free and fair polls.