Repoll likely in 44 booths due to poll-related violence

Bhubaneswar: Following poll violence reports from different places across Odisha during the voting for the first phase panchayat polls, the State Election Commission (SEC) today announced fresh elections are likely to be held at some booths in different districts on basis of recommendations from Collectors.

Talking to newsmen, SEC Secretary Rabindra Nath Sahu stated, “As per preliminary reports received from Collectors, repoll is likely to conducted at 15 booths in Cuttack district, 13 in Puri, 11 in Kendrapara and five in Jajpur.”

He added though no date for the repoll has been finalised yet, the fresh election will be completed within February 21.

Sahu further mentioned cases of the poll violence including ballot box loot have occurred at many places after the counting.

Also read: First phase of rural polls ends amid violence

Sahu said taking note of the attack on the polling  party by some miscreants on its return from the polling booth in Kendrapara district yesterday, Sahu said the polling officials have been asked to stay in the booth after the polling if there is no adequate security cover.

“The Commission has instructed the Collectors and SPs to provide adequate security to polling parties during their return. Police escort including armed guards will accompany  polling parties. The Sector Magistrate will apprise the police in this regard,” Sahu added.

Besides, polling parties are asked to return in groups, he said.