The rebels had called for the boycott of polls to protest against the lack of development in the region.
Bhubaneswar: As Odisha voted in the first phase of polls on Thursday for not only the Lok Sabha (LS) but also for the state Assembly, all eyes are now riveted on the final voter turnout in 2019 elections.
Though preliminary data by the chief electoral officer (CEO) Bhubaneswar estimated the poll percentage in the first phase of polling in Odisha at 66 per cent, it is likely to touch 70 per cent after the compilation of final figures.
As many as 15 booths in Maoist-affected Malkangiri district registered zero polling following threats by the Red radicals. The rebels had called for the boycott of polls to protest against the lack of development in the region.
As reports received from the ground suggested great enthusiasm among voters spread across the four LS constituencies and 28 Assembly constituencies (AC), the gusto to vote was discernible in constituencies like Berhampur, which had recorded a lower turnout of around 48 per cent in 2009.
Long queues were noticed prior to the starting of polling hours at 8 AM in tribal constituencies like Nabarangpur and Koraput. The passion of voters was noticeable in Kalahandi too. Nabarangpur, Kalahandi and Koraput are constituencies to watch out for in the first phase of polls.
EC data till 7 pm suggested a voter turnout of around 53 per cent in Kalahandi and 55 per cent in Koraput, respectively. Till 6 pm Nabarangpur witnessed a poll percentage of 50 per cent.