Odisha registered 78.3 percent of the vote in the second phase of polls for the three-tier panchayat elections, an official of the state election commission (SEC) said on Saturday.
The official stated that the second phase of the polls on Friday was generally peaceful barring a few stray incidents, the official said Subarnapur district registered the highest turnout of 85.67 percent, followed by Jharsuguda (85.14), Boudh (84.9), Kalahandi (83.81), Gajapati (82.69) and Gajapati (82.69).
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s native Ganjam district registered the lowest turnout at 64.86 percent. In the first phase of the polls, the neighborhood also witnessed low turnout.
The state had registered a turnout of 77.2 percent during the first phase of the polls on Feb. 16.
The second stage polls were held at 20,436 stands in 1,514 panchayats in 68 blocks across the state.
Other districts with a turnout of 80 percent or more were Angul (80.32), Bhadrak (81.04), Deogarh, (81.08) and Dhenkanal (82.69).
SEC Secretary RN Sahu said the committee has received recommendations for re-elections in 13 polling booths for various reasons and three other polling booths due to errors in the ballot papers.
Jajpur SP Rahul PR said police have so far arrested 28 people in connection with poll violence, including nine people on Friday.
In a related incident, police have arrested a young person for allegedly swallowing a ballot during the polls on Friday. The incident occurred in Nagapali village under Mayurudan Gram Panchayat in Subarnapur district, where a youth identified as Balgopal Meghani allegedly swallowed a ballot while intoxicated while voting was underway at the polling station.
Voting was halted for about an hour after the incident, police said.
In another incident, a sarpanch candidate from Sunarisikuan panchayat under Khadial bloc in Nuapada district was found unconscious on Saturday morning with his hands and legs tied at the nearby site.
Chulamani Baitharu, the aspirant Sarpanch, has been missing since Friday night. Villagers found him unconscious with his hand and legs tied with rope. He also had injuries to his head and hands. He was admitted to Khadial Sub-Department Hospital for treatment.
Meanwhile, SEC Secretary RN Sahu said the committee has made extensive arrangements for the third phase of the poll on Sunday. The poll takes place in 68 blocks spread over 29 districts. The elections will be held for 171 zilla parish members in panchayats of 1383 grams and 18,495 wards where 56.73 lakh people are eligible to exercise their franchise.