Bhubaneswar: In the first phase of the panchayat polls on Monday, despite BJD leading the results, the surprise victory of BJP in areas that were traditionally dominated by the ruling party, has fuelled political debates in the state. But it cannot be denied that much of the loss was created by BJD leaders who looked complacent throughout the campaigning and probably left the job of wooing voters to celebrities.
BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik campaigned only during the last day before the first phase of polls while other BJD leaders have been seen flaunting audacity in public.
During the last panchayat polls, BJD won 154 of 188 seats but this time it has reduced to 120 while BJP that had won 36 zilla parishad seats in 2011 has gained 55 seats this time.
Interestingly, some major leaders of BJD have lost ground like Kalahandi district president and Housing and Urban development minister Pushpendra Narayan Singhdeo, Industries and School and Mass Education minister Debi Prasad Mishra, MLA and former health minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak and veteran leader MLA Ved Prakash Agrawal.
BJP has claimed Kalahandi’s nine zilla parishad zones including Pushpendra’s constituency; four zones in Narasinghpur including Debi Mishra’s constituency; two seats in Atanu’s constituency in Mahakalpada and two seats in Ved Prakash’s constituency Patakura. In Mayurbhanj, 13 out of 15 zilla parishad seats have been claimed by BJP.