How voters differentiate between LS and assembly elections in Odisha

New Delhi: Contrary to pollsters predicting LS elections on the basis of voting trends in state assembly elections and vice versa the voters in Odisha seem to have rejected the hypothesis of a correlation in voting trends. The voting trends may differ significantly for LS and Assembly elections even if they are polled on the same day.

This has happened in Odisha where despite voting was held on the same day, there is a difference of 5.87% of votes BJP got in Odisha Legislative Assembly election and Lok Sabha election in the state. As per the records of Election Commission, the saffron party got 38.37% of votes in Lok Sabha while on the same day it was preferred by 32.5% votes for Odisha assembly elections. This huge difference of 5.87 % votes is enough to indicate that the voters in India have learnt to differentiate between state assembly elections and national elections. In the Lok Sabha election, the difference between the vote share of BJP and Naveen Patnaik’s BJD is only 4.39% while for state assembly elections this difference is 12.21%; almost three times.

This margin of 12.21 % votes between the vote share of BJD and BJP in the state assembly elections which is around three times of their margin in LS elections happened on the same day are enough to indicate the preference of voters on the state level and national issues. Interestingly, this difference in vote share is not only between BJD and BJP but Congress which got 16.12 % votes in Odisha Assembly elections received only 13.81% votes in LS elections. It simply means around 2% voters of BJD and 2.3% voters of Congress voted preferred BJP candidates for Lok Sabha. Although BJP has got only 8 seats in the state but made huge outreach in terms of vote share. The saffron brigade, however, got only 23 seats in 146 member Odisha Assembly.

National security, nationalism, welfare schemes of the Modi government and other national level issues would have dominated the minds of voters for Lok Sabha but Naveen Patnaik still remains the first preference for many at the state level. The lack of strong leadership to challenge the citadel of Patnaik eludes the Odisha assembly for BJP.