Bhubaneswar: Around 15% voting was recorded in the first hours of voting in 10 Lok Sabha and 70 assembly constituencies of Orissa where Maoists set ablaze three polling booths in Malkangiri district.
Low turn-out of voters was recorded in naxal-infested areas like Malkangiri, Koraput and Sundargarh in view of poll boycott call given by the ultras, official sources said.
While polling remained subdued in rural and remote areas in the early hours, the voters’ turn-out picked up gradually, they said, adding long queues could be seen before booths in urban centres like Rourkela, Berhampur and Sambalpur.
In riot-ravaged Kandhamal, the inmates of relief camps exercised their franchise in groups and no untoward incident was reported from any part of the district, soruces said.
In Rayagada district, no voting had been recorded till 10.30 am in 10 booths in Piskapanga in Kashipur area where Jhadia community demanded that they be accorded tribal status, District Collector K G Mohapatra said, adding efforts were made to persuade the voters to exercise their franchise.
Polling was delayed in five booths in Rayagada as electronic voting machines (EVM) failed to function and voting started after the machines were replaced.