February 18, 2017 4:06:43 am
The BJP continued its good run in the Odisha panchayat polls with the party winning 68 of the 175 Zilla Parishad seats that went to the polls on Friday. The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) won 87 seats. At the end of third phase of the polls, the BJP has won 197 seats while BJD 287. The Congress was a distant third with 42 seats. The BJP won Kalahandi Zilla Parishad by claiming 25 of the 36 seats. The Congress secured the Jharsuguda Zilla Parishad by winning more than half of the seats.
The BJP is expected to win five or six Zilla Parishads while the BJD is likely to get 23 to 24. The last two phases of the elections will be held on February 19 and 21. Ahead of the third phase of polling, minor incidents of violence were reported. BJD workers allegedly attacked former BJP MLA Pratap Sarangi’s vehicle. Sarangi has named BJD workers in his police complaint.
In another incident, BJD MLA Ayub Khan’s son, Feroze Khan, was booked for allegedly attacking a BJP Zilla Parishad candidate in Bolangir district. BJD MLA Srikant Sahu’s vehicle was also attacked in Bhanjanagar in Ganjam district. The Election Commission has asked the chief secretary and police chief to ensure free and fair polling in the remaining phases, citing incidents of violence.
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