Odisha Opposition Finding Its Tough To Halt BJD Juggernaut

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Bhubaneswar: With the ruling BJD successfully tiding over anti-incumbency syndrome recording successive poll victories, the opposition- BJP & Congress- are at their wits’ end to check the juggernaut of the ruling party ahead of the 2019 general election.

The February 2017 three-tier panchayat polls results had projected possibility of a resurgent BJP upsetting BJD’s applecart and putting brakes to its winning streak. The saffron party had performed impressively making inroads into BJD strongholds improving its tally of Zilla Parisad seats from 36 in 2012 to 307 in 2017 polls. The increase in seat was a whopping 850% rise, which had left the BJD think-tank much to worry about.

BJD could not perform up to its expectation as it won 460 seats from its 651 in 2012.

However BJD has been able to reverse the trend within a year with a series of comprehensive polls victories.

On a day during which BJP national president Amit Shah claimed that his party will win more than 120 seats in the next assembly elections in Odisha, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) swept the elections in Attabira NAC of Bargarh district and in Hindol NAC of Dhenkanal district inflicting a crushing defeat on its rivals.

The by-poll to the Bijepur assembly constituency in which the BJD candidate trounced its BJP rival by a record margin of nearly 42,000 on February 28 had also made ample clear that anti-incumbency has failed to infect the party despite 18-year-long stint in power.

The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) had also reaffirmed its hegemony in registering victories in urban local bodies which went to polls in recent years. The by-polls for the vacant ZP seats from time to time have also gone in favour of the party.

While anti-incumbency rules the roost elsewhere in the country, Odisha stands apart from the rest. People here have immense trust in Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for his good work and transparent style of governance. That’s why; voters are reposing continuous faith in BJD headed by him. BJD will emerge victorious yet again in 2019 despite tall claims by the opposition, said BJD spokesperson, Sulochana Das.

BJD is basking under the glory of recent poll victories. It will pay the price of overconfidence and arrogance, said BJP spokesperson Sajan Sharma.

Congress will definitely make a comeback in Odisha despite repeated poor performance. The party will reach the people’s doorsteps and will make them aware of misdeeds of BJD-led Patnaik government in the state and Modi-led govt in the centre. Congress still has loyal vote bank. It will revive its poplar base in 2019 general election as both Patnaik and Modi have become unpopular, said a Congress MLA, Debendra Sharma.

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