February 27, 2022
The conch kept on an all-encompassing influence over Odisha as the BJD headed for a landslide victory with complete decimation of the opposition BJP and Congress within the panchayat elections, tallying for which was taken up within the first stage on Saturday.
As per the most recent trends received from the State Race Commission (SEC), the administering party had set up leads in 280 zilla parishad (ZP) zones of the overall 315, with the Congress surprisingly occupying a distant second place leading 16 seats and BJP managing only 15 zones.
Independents and others were ahead in four seats. While the trends have come as a colossal jar for the BJP, the BJD was leading in all the 30 districts till reports final came in.
The Bhartiya Janata Party, which had made massive gains in the 2017 rural polls and had emerged as a serious challenger to the BJD has found the tables turned this time and staring at a complete wipeout even in its strongholds. It has failed to establish leads in a single zone of as many as 17 districts.
These are Bhadrak, Deogarh, Gajapati, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Jharsuguda, Kandhamal, Kendrapara, Koraput, Malkangiri, Mayurbhanj, Nabarangpur, Nayagarh, Nuapada, Puri, Rayagada and Sonepur districts.
The ZP polls have thrown many surprises including the BJD resurgence in Mayurbhanj, Kalahandi and Jharsuguda districts. In the 2017 elections, BJP had won 48 zones out of the 56 ZP zones in Mayurbhanj district while five seats had gone to BJD. However, there is a complete turnaround this time with the BJP failing to lead in a single out of the 26 zones. While the BJD is leading in 23 seats, others are ahead in three zones in the district.
Similarly in Kalahandi district, the BJP had won 33 zones out of 36 in 2017 elections with two and one going to Congress and BJD respectively. However, trends received so far show that BJD is ahead in 13 out of the 16 zones with only three zones for the saffron party. In Jharsuguda, BJD had drawn nil in 2012 and 2017 ZP polls out of the total nine seats.
However, this time, trends show that the BJD has led in five seats there. The BJP also suffered major reverses in Nuapada, the home district of BJP strongman and Kalahandi MP Basant Panda, by not leading in even a single zone. In Balangir, another BJP stronghold, the party is leading in only two as against 12 by BJD. The counting of votes will continue on February 27 and February 28.
Congress’s performance is noteworthy even though it has not been able to establish any lead in 23 districts.It has spectacularly managed to maintain its traditional strongholds in the southern districts of Koraput and Rayagada.
The party is leading in four and five ZP zones in Koraput and Rayagada while it was ahead in one ZP zone in Cuttack. The party has won the Malkangiri-Chitrakonda zone in Malkangiri district.
Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra looked into the field-level progress of the works under the ...