Braving the searing heat, an estimated 30-35 per cent of the 1.45 crore electorate exercised their franchise till noon in the second phase of Lok Sabha and assembly elections in Orissa amidst reports of poll boycott in some places.
"About 30 to 35 per cent of the voters have cast votes in 11 Lok Sabha and 77 assembly seats during first five hours of polling which is continuing peacefully since 7 am," state election office sources said.
Two polling officials died following a sun stroke, they said adding one of the deceased was identified as Pabitra Kumar Muduli, who was on duty at Udala in Mayurbhanj district, where two other polling officials also fell ill due to instense summer heat.
Another poll official, Sumanta Mohanty, died on Wednesday while on duty in Ghasipura area of neighbouring Keonjhar district, they said.
Brisk polling was witnessed in many districts of the coastal belt, now reeling under heatwave, as people queued up early to escape the summer conditions.
Security had been tightened in the districts of Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal and Jajpur where Maoists are known to be active.