**Bhubaneswar:** The second phase election of the ongoing three-tier Panchayat polls in Odisha on Wednesday witnessed 73% turnout of the voters.
Except Deogarh district, election was held for 175 Zilla Parishad zones under 65 Blocks of 29 districts to elect Zilla Parishad, Sarpanch, Samiti Member and Ward Member candidates.
Addressing media on the day, State Election Commissioner Rabi Narayan Senapati said, “Today election was held for the second phase three-tier Panchayat polls for 175 Zilla Parishad zones under 65 Blocks of 29 districts. There are 18,581 wards of 1,386 Gram Panchayats. Arrangements had been made for 53,62,814 voters to exercise their franchise.”
“Barring some stray incidents during the polling, voting programme passed off peacefully across the State. Today 73% of the voters have cast their votes. While Dhenkanal district has recorded highest turnout of 83%, Malkangiri has registered the lowest 64%,” he added.
The State Election Commissioner also informed, “In some places snatching of ballot paper and due to other disturbances, polling has been disrupted. Reports will be sought from the concerned Collectors, examined and future course of action will be taken accordingly. The information of re-poll will be duly passed on to media later.”
Notably, the first phase rural polls on Monday (February 13) had witnessed 71% turnout and Subarnapur district had recorded highest polling of 84.3% while Balangir district had been lowest with 60% turnout.