Jhansi: Braving the heat and Covid scare, 74.44% voters turned up to exercise their right till 7pm in the first phase of panchayat elections conducted at 1,676 booths of eight blocks in Jhansi district on Thursday.
The highest voting percentage was recorded at 80% in Chirgaon block, followed by Gursarain and Mauranipur with 75% voting each. Bangra stood third with 74% while Baragaon block witnessed 73.5% voting and Moth and Bamore witnessed 73% voting each.
Voting was disrupted for around one and half hours at Kerokhar village under Garotha block after a group of miscreants barged into polling booth numbers 26 and 27 and broke the ballot boxes and damaged ballots. They also poured water in some ballot boxes while one broken box was later found outside the polling booth. Reports claim that some miscreants misbehaved with the presiding officer and damaged the vehicle of sector magistrate. As per sources, the incident took place in the native village of Vidhan Parishad chairperson Kunwar Manvendra Singh.
Heavy police force and senior officials, including Jhansi DM Andra Vamsi, rushed to the spot and ensured resumption of voting after giving proper information to villagers. Those who had already voted returned to cast their vote again.
Meanwhile, people in Zera village of Moth block claimed that around 130 ballot papers fell short during voting, hampering the voting. However, the administration claimed that the voting went on undisrupted.
In an unfortunate incident, a woman, deployed as polling officer at booth number 61 in village Jauri Buzurg under Baragaon block, died after vomiting some blood. She was identified as Nirmala Sahu of Datiya Gate, Jhansi. SP City Vivek Tripathi said that the deceased was a cancer survivor. Her body was sent for postmortem.