Around 15 per cent voters exercised their franchise during first three hours for the simultaneous second and last phase election to 11 Lok Sabha and 77 Assembly constituencies in Odisha on Thursday.
Among the early voters were Assam Governor J B Patnaik and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as brisk polling was witnessed in several areas while Angul district recorded 19 per cent polling.
While Naveen Patnaik cast his vote at Aerodrome colony U.G.U.P School Polling Station, J B Pataik, also a former Odisha chief minister, voted at a polling centre at Rameshwar in Khurda district.
Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Jaydev Jena exercised his franchise in Anandpur in Keonjhar district, while his predecessor and Congress stalwart Niranjan Patnaik also cast his vote in Keonjhar.
People, particularly women, were seen thronging the polling booths in early hours in order to escape the scorching heat later during the day, sources said.
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While polling was in progress in a peaceful manner in the constituencies spread over 13 districts in coastal and northern Odisha, reports of delay in voting were received from some places due to snag in EVMs. Such reports were received from Nahagarh and Kakatpur areas.
Repolling is also being held in 22 booths spread over eight Assembly segments in the state where polling was stalled due to various reasons, including snatching of EVMs, during the first phase of voting on April 10.
Fifteen of these 22 booths are located in Chitrakonda Assembly segment in Maoist-hit Malkangiri district and two booths – one in Kotpad Assembly segment and another in Potangi Assembly constituency in Koraput district. Tight security arrangements were made in these booths where fresh poll is taking place as well as in Maoist affected areas of Keonjhar, Jajpur districts.
Over 1.55 crore voters are eligible to record their choices in 18,692 booths, for which 1.41 lakh polling personnel have been requisitioned.
Arrangements had been made for web casting of the voting process in 329 vulnerable booths of the total 18,692 polling booths.