Special Correspondent

BHUBANESWAR: The process of conduct of Presidential elections passed off peacefully in Orissa on Thursday with 145 legislators casting their votes. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Leader of Opposition J.B. Patnaik were among the first few leaders to turn up for casting their votes on the premises of the State Assembly.

Although Orissa Assembly has strength of 147 Members, one legislator Karendra Majhi cast his vote in New Delhi. Independent legislator Sambhunath Naik abstained from voting. Naik is a leader of the Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI). Adequate security arrangements were taken at the Assembly premises for the smooth conduct of the polls. Polling started at 10 am in the morning and all the 145 legislators exercised their franchise by 12.30 p.m. However, the officials conducting the polls kept the process open till 5 pm.