Bhubaneswar: On a day BJP national president Amit Shah claimed that his party will win more than 120 seats in the next Assembly elections in Odisha, the ruling BJD swept the elections to two Notified Area Councils (NACs) inflicting a crushing defeat to its rivals.
Though the number of electorates of the two NACs were less than 25,000, the pattern of voters’ behaviour noticed from the results were quite similar to the by-poll to the Bijepur Assembly constituency in which the BJD candidate had a thumping victory by a record margin of over 40,000.
The BJP finished as a distant second to the ruling BJD in both the NACs. However, BJP emerged as the only opposition to the regional outfit which improved its vote share in both the NACs. Congress which had more than 30 per cent vote share in these two urban bodies in the last urban local body (ULB) polls in 2013 slumped to the third position. In Attabira NAC of Bargarh district, BJD won all 12 wards, while in Hindol NAC of Dhenkanal district, the ruling party secured 13 out of 16 Wards. While BJP won from one ward in Hindol, independents won two.
Congress drew a blank in both the ULBs with its vote share slumping to 12.43 per cent in Attabira and 2.72 per cent in Hindol. The vote share of BJD in Attabira NAC increased from 44 per cent in 2013 to 59.52 per cent now while in Hindol the ruling party improved vote share from 35 per cent in 2013 to 51.39 per cent now. The BJP’s vote share in Attabira and Hindol improved from six per cent to 25.84 per cent and from 11 per cent to 31.82 per cent respectively.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik dismissed Shah’s claim that the BJP will win more than 120 seats in Odisha in the next Assembly elections. “It is very very exaggerated,” he told mediapersons here.