Panchayat Polls: BJP to form 8 ZPs, Cong has to content with one

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Bhubaneswar: On the basis of the results of the three-tier Panchayat polls, BJP is all set to form eight Zilla Parishads (ZPs) in Odisha while Congress has to remain content with only one Zilla Parishad in Jharsuguda district.

It is likely that the BJP may get Gajapati Zilla Parishad seat as a bonus, which will be clear after announcement of the final results by the State Election Commission (SEC) on February 25.

The saffron party is celebrating its sterling performance as it has jumped from 36 seats to nearly 300 seats and in the process, pushed the Congress to the third position.

The ruling BJD has fared miserably in Kalahandi district as compared to BJP which has gained 92 percent seats by winning at 33 out of 36 ZP seats. BJP has captured 49 out of 56 ZP seats in Mayurbhanj, 26 out of 34 in Bargarh, 24 out of 34 in Balangir, 13 out of 18 in Sambalpur, 10 out of 13 in Malkangiri, 10 out of 13 in Subarnapur and six out of seven in Deogarh district. The counting of Gajapati is also expected to be in favour of BJP. While some variations may occur after the official announcement of the results, there is no doubt that the performance of the BJP in the Panchayat polls is quite remarkable.

Expressing satisfaction over the unprecedented performance of his party, BJP state unit president Basant Panda said “Being the captain, I am on Cloud Nine for my team’s fabulous show in the Panchayat polls”.

On the other hand, Congress leaders are playing a blame game. Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) chief Prasad Harichandan yesterday had held himself responsible for the failure of the party and also pointed out the use of black money by the BJD and BJP as the main reason for the party’s poor show. The party was not able to mark its presence in 15 districts, but was able to gain its ground in Jharsuguda district. Besides, it has captured 10 seats in Rayagada while its performance in Nabarangpur and Gajapati district is much better as compared to the remaining districts.

Compared to its performance in the last Panchayat polls in 2012, Congress had captured 126 seats. However, this time it managed to win in nearly half of the total seats (62) it had won in the previous polls.

Blaming himself and his party leaders for the miserable performance of Congress, Opposition chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati said that defeat has delighted some leaders of his party and other parties.

Asked about the change of the PCC chief Prasad Harichandan whose inept leadership led to the drastic fall of Congress, the Jeypore MLA said it is he (Harichandan) and the AICC leaders to take a call on this matter.

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