Bhubaneswar, Feb 21:

The fifth phase of panchayat polls in Odisha came to an end peacefully on Tuesday.

In the last phase of the rural polls, 77 per cent voter turnout was recorded. While the highest 88 per cent voter turnout was reported in Sonepur district, Ganjam district recorded the lowest turnout with 67 per cent.

“Barring few minor disturbances, the panchayat polls were held peacefully across the state. There were reports about law and order problem and irregularities in ballot papers. We will take further steps for re-polling after receiving detailed information from the district collectors,” said State Election Commissioner R.N. Senapati.

The fifth phase polling was held for 16,148 ward members, 1,173 panchayats and 150 Zilla Parishad zones in 58 blocks of 26 districts in the state.

Director General of Police (DGP) K.B. Singh said they have made special arrangements for possible post-poll violence.

Polling went on smoothly in the Maoist infested districts in the state with deployment of adequate security personnel at some sensitive and hypersensitive booths, he said.

The panchayat polls, which were held in five phases, began on February 13.

Out of 853 Zila Parishad (ZP) zones, elections were held for 848 seats. Elections could not be held for two seats in Chitrakonda block while others were declared uncontested, official sources said.

Besides, elections were held for 6,665 seats in the panchayat samitis, 6,802 sarpanches.

The results will be declared on February 25. (IANS)