Odisha Assembly Election Results: BJD Crosses 100 Seat-Mark in Signs of a Landslide in Patnaik's Favour
Naveen Patnaik seems to have retained his 'chief ministerial' power for the fifth-time with a storm.
File photo of Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik.
Odisha Assembly Election Results 2019: With trends in for 63 Assembly seats in Odisha, BJD is leading on 42 seats, while the BJP is ahead on 15 seats. Congress on the other hands is leading on six seats in the 147-seat strong Assembly. Odisha is one of the four states where Assembly elections were held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections 2019 and will be one the most closely watched one as the results start to trickle in after 8 am. Other states having simultaneous elections are Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Sikkim. Naveen Patnaik, who is seeking a fifth term as the chief minister of Odisha is in a direct battle with a resurgent Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) which, in the recent years, has pushed the main Opposition Congress to the third spot in the state.
Patnaik has been in power in the state since 2000, when it was a part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance. He, himself, is contesting from two Assembly seats – Bijepur in western Odisha in addition to his traditional coastal constituency of Hinjli – for the first time.
Top developments to watch out for in Odisha as counting begins:
1. Naveen Patnaik on his way to become Odisha CM for fifth-time consecutive time.
2. Congress leading on 13 seats in Odisha Assembly elections whereas BJP is ahead on 26.
3. Patnaik's Biju Janata Dal is probably the only party to have improved its performance over the last three state elections. The won 61 seats in 2004, 103 in 2009, and 117 in 2014. As Patnaik denies any anti-incumbency, will he be able to continue the trend or the BJP will be able to dent his vote-base?
4. The state went to polls in an unprecedented four phases and registered a voter turnout of 73.1 per cent compared with 73.79 per cent in 2014.
5. Naveen Patnaik is the seventh longest serving chief minister in the elctoral history of the country with over 19 years of chief ministership. If he returns to power, he may become the second-longest serving CM, given that Pawan Chamling, who is the longest serving CM, is also able to hold his fort in Sikkim.
6. In the 2017 panchayat elections, BJP had won 297 Zila Parishad seats out of the total 851, which is a significant improvement from 36 in 2012. The saffron party relegated the Congress to the third place with just 60 Zila Parishad seats compared with 128 which it had won in 2012. The BJD, on the other hand, kept the majority with 473 Zila Parishad seats, but saw a major fall from the 651 seats it had won in 2012.
7. Importantly, the BJP changed its tactic in the state. Earlier the party would hold protests at the state level, but in the past few years it began holding protests at the gram panchayat and mandal level. This aided them in capturing the opposition space ceded by a relatively inactive Congress.
8. In February 2018, the crucial bypoll at the Bijepur Assembly in Bargarh saw paddy cultivators angry over the government threatening to swing the polls. But BJD refused to go down with a fight and eventually won with a margin of over 40,000 seats.
9. The BJD has seen a number of defections and with the Congress out of the contention in coastal areas, the saffron party is hopeful to make inroads in a two-way fight with Patnaik.
10. BJP president Amit Shah has repeatedly visited Odisha and according to one bureaucrat, "The BJP has never emphasized on the state like this."
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