Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Jan 8:
Elections for the 67 wards of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) passed off peacefully on Wednesday barring some stray incidents at some places.
Tension prevailed at Ward no 41 of Kharavel Nagar area here in the morning following clashes between two groups. Police dispersed the irate people by resorting to lathi-charge for creating disturbance near the polling both.
Police sources said that seven persons were injured in the clash while four vehicles, including three cars, were damaged.
According to sources, the two groups belong to Congress and ruling BJD entered into a scuffle over trading of abusive words inside the polling campus. Before voters waiting in the queue could understand what was happening, members of the two groups engaged in an ugly scuffle, prompting the police to resort to lathi charge.
However, DCP Nitinjit Singh said they fought each other over some old incidents and police had to disperse them for smooth conduct of voting in the ward.
Voting was disrupted at the centre for more than half an hour as police took control of the booth to avoid any untoward incident and resumed only after the Police Commissioner arrived on the spot and discussed the matter with the group members.
Polling was also affected for nearly one hour at Biju Patnaik College in Nayapalli after some voters alleged that their votes had already been cast before they reached the polling booth. Some stray incidents were also witnessed in Saliasahi and Niladri Vihar.
Commissionerate Police had deployed 35 platoons of police personnel to maintain law and order during the voting process.
About 6, 90,239 voters cast their votes in 660 booths locking the fate of the 393 candidates contesting in the 67 wards of the Corporation. The counting and result will be announced tomorrow.