Bhubaneswar, Feb 17:

Barring a few minor incidents, the third phase of panchayat elections was conducted peacefully across Odisha on Friday.

The third phase of polls recorded 75 per cent voter turnout in which Sonepur district recorded highest with 86 per cent, while Ganjam district registered the lowest with 66 per cent.

The first phase of panchayat poll recorded 71 per cent turnout, while the second phase recorded 73 per cent.

“The third phase of panchayat elections was held peacefully, excluding some minor incidents. We have received information about some stray incidents, including booth capturing and ballot looting. We will take action after getting detailed information from the district collectors,” State Election Commissioner (SEC) R.N. Senapati told media persons here.

The Commission said polling was cancelled in two places of the state due to several reasons.

While errors in ballot papers were found in one zone of Lahunipada gram panchayat in Sundergarh district, polling parties were attacked in a zone under Dasarathpur block in Jajpur district.

Fresh poll will be held in the booths after getting information from the district collectors, said Senapati.

Voting was held for 1,394 panchayats, 18,859 ward members and 175 zila parishad zones of 65 blocks in 30 districts.

Adequate security personnel have been deployed at sensitive and hyper-sensitive booths in the state to ward off any untoward incident and ensure free and fair polls. (IANS)