Odisha phase-3 polls turnout drops marginally; 71.61% vis-a-vis 72.7% in 2014

Bhubaneswar: The third phase polls in Odisha covering six Lok Sabha (LS) and 42 Assembly Constituencies (AC) passed of peacefully today, though some stray incidents of attacks were reported from some places in Puri LS where an EVM was smashed.

The final polling figures released by CEO Surendra Kumar reveals that around 71.61 per cent votes were polled across the six LS and 42 ACs. The final figures are marginally lower than the 72.7 per cent poll turnout in 2014.

As per the final poll figures, Keonjhar has recorded the highest turnout of 78.16 per cent. In 2014, the constituency had recorded the highest poll turnout of 80.4 per cent. Keonjhar LS turnout has dropped in 2019. Sambalpur LS had recorded 76.38 per cent turnout against a turnout of 75.87 per cent in 2014. The constituency has recorded marginally higher turnout this time. Similarly, Bhubaneswar LS has posted a marginal higher voting in 2019 with a turnout rate of 59.60 per cent against 58.38 per cent in 2014.

However, Dhenkanal recorded a lower turnout in 2019 as 74.98 per cent voters exercised their franchise against 76.43 per cent in 2014. Similarly, Cuttack saw a lower turnout of 69.65 per cent against 71.35 per cent in 2014. The temple town Puri recorded lower turnout of 72.53 per cent against 74 per cent in 2014.

Voters faced EVM blues again in this phase of polling. The CEO, Odisha has recommended repoll in a booth each in Baramba AC under Cuttack LS and Deogarh AC under Sambalpur LS. The reason has been mispairing of EVMs – means EVM for LS linked to AC and vice versa.

Besides, many places across the constituencies have reported EVM breakdowns that bogged down voters for hours in the polling stations.

For instance, a polling station at Ainginia-3 under Ekamara-Bhubaneswar had witnessed EVM failure. Voters faced a harrowing experience as they have to wait in queue for nearly three hours on a sultry noon as the polling station has no fans.

In pursuance of CEO’s recommendations, the EC has ordered a repoll on April 25 in nine booths spread across four LS constituencies viz, Bargarh, Sundergarh, Kandhamal and Aska. As many as four booths in Bargarh will witness repolling on Thursday. Repolling will be held in booth number 16 in Padampur, booth number 35 in Attabira, booth number 68 in Bargarh AC and booth no 6 in Brajarajnagar AC.

A booth in Bonai AC and two booths in Sundergarh AC under the Sundergarh LS,  a booth each in Daspalla and Betnotti under Kandhamal LS, and booth number 182 in Surada, where a BJP candidate had smashed the EVM, under Aska LS were to see repolling on the same day.