Odisha polls: Naveen Patnaik drives BJD home

Bhubaneswar: Untouched by the Narendra Modi wave and anti-incumbency factor, the Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal (BJD) bagged 117 of the 147 Assembly seats in Odisha while its rivals Congress and BJP manage 16 and 10 seats respectively.

While BJD had 103 members in the outgoing Assembly, Congress had 27 while BJP six. The NCP had captured four seats in 2009, CPI held one and six others went in favour of the Independents.

However, proving all surveys wrong, the ruling BJD raised its strength by 14 more seats despite being in power in the state since 2000, while the Congress lost 11 seats and BJP gained only four segments.

The 2014 poll results showed that BJD was adding to its seat numbers by each passing elections. While it got 103 seats in 2009, it increased to 117 in 2014. In 2000 and 2004, when BJD was in alliance with BJP, it had 68 and 61 seats. Even BJD's show in Lok Sabha improved from nine in 1998 to ten in 1999 and 12 in 2004 and 14 in 2009. Now, Naveen-led party secured 20 of the state's 21 parliamentary seats.

Patnaik, who is all set to become the chief minister for the fourth consecutive time, also increased his vote share from Hinjili Assembly segment in Ganjam district from where he is getting elected since 2000.

While Patnaik won by 72,942 votes in 2009, this time his winning margin rose to 76,586 votes.

Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda said the 2014 results proved that the people of Odisha wanted to strengthen Patnaik in Odisha.

Surprised over his party not being able to gain from the Modi wave in terms of victory in the state, BJP state president K V Singhdeo said, "We fail to understand how Modi wave could not be translated into votes in Odisha. We will think over it."

While there was joys and celebrations in the BJD camp, three ministers- Prasanna Acharya (finance), Rabi Narayan Nanda (school and mass education) and Pratap Keshari Deb (food and supplies) lost the polls.

Among other veterans who lost the polls were OPCC president Jaydev Jena, Congress chief whip Prasad Harichandan, senior Congress leader Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra, BJP legislature party leader J N Mishsra and party's senior leader Bijay Mohapatra.

This Assembly elections also saw a unique development when Odisha Assembly Speaker Pradip Amat won the polls. No previous speaker of OLA had won polls while occupying the chair. Two senior Congress leaders Anup Sai and Hema Gamang, who had joined the ruling BJD before the elections, have been defeated.

The victory of two Rajya Sabha members Rabi Narayan Mohapatra and Sashi Bhusan Behera in the Assembly elections, would necessitate fresh elections for the two vacant seats.

The newly formed outfit Samata Kranti Dal (SKD), contesting the polls in Odisha for the first time, has got one Assembly seat with George Tirkey winning the Biramitrapur seat.

PTI
First Published: Saturday, May 17, 2014, 16:12
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