The Capital verdict is out. It's only Congress that had recorded a drop in vote share in the Capital city. But the vote pie chart blips significant electoral clues for both the BJP and BJD.
As per the vote pie chart available with the State Election Commission, when the ruling BJD grabbed a massive 55.7 percent direct votes, BJD candidate Suniti Mund polled 36.2 percent and Congress pick Madhusmita Acharya bagged 3.5 percent vote shares, respectively.
An analysis of the 2019 Assembly Elections in the three Assembly segments in the State Capital - North, Central and Ekamara - reveals that BJD MLAs had together polled 55.2 percent of votes polled in the polls.
The total vote share grabbed by the BJP candidates in the last Assembly elections had been 36.3 percent. And the Congress party candidates polled 4 percent of the votes polled in the three assembly segment in the city.
A comparison shows while both BJD and BJP have held their forte, it's slipping sand only for the Grand Old Party (GOP).
As the Capital City has witnessed the 2019 split voting again in 2022, where the BJP Mayor candidate polled over 1.1 lakh votes but in the ward battle, the party won in 10 and gave a run for money to the BJD in three others, the blip for the BJP here is the party's winning chances hinge on the turnout.
However, the same does not hold true for the ruling BJD. The party seems to have a committed voter base. The voting machine of the BJD in the Capital city seems well oiled.
In the recently held elections to the post of Mayor in Bhubaneswar, the total votes polled has been counted at 3,12,979. While BJD's Sulochana Das polled over 1.74 lakh votes, BJP's Suniti Mund bagged around 1.13 lakh votes and Congress' Madhusmita had over 11000 votes in her kitty.
Cut to 2019 Assembly Elections. As per the data available with the Election Commission of India, the total valid votes polled in the Capital city had been 3,62,424.
The ruling BJD that made a clean sweep in the three City assembly segments had polled 2,00,235 votes. The main opposition BJP had in its kitty total of 1,34,725 and Congress could manage only around 14000 votes.
In percentage terms, BJD garnered 55.2 percent votes, BJP 36.3 percent and Congress 4 percent votes.
The Lok Sabha Arithmetic
As per the ECI data, the valid votes polled in the three Assembly segments of the Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha constituency had been 3,70,169.
When BJP's Aparajita Sarangi (the sitting MP) had bagged 1,91,621 votes, BJD candidate Arup Patnaik garnered 1,66,908 votes. The Congress supported CPI-M candidate Janardan Pati could collect only a little over 5000 votes.
In the percentage terms, while BJP took a share of 51.7 percent, BJD had to remain content with around 45 percent vote share in the Capital city and Congress-supported candidate could carve only 1.4 percent vote share.
A comparison of the valid votes polled in Lok Sabha and Assembly elections show that nearly 7,745 more voters have voted in the Lok Sabha polls in 2019. And the performance of the BJP had been good.
Turnout Factor For BJD, BJP
As per the SEC data, the turnout in the mayoral polls has been 3,12,979. When compared with the 2019 Assembly polls, the voter participation is down by 49,445 votes, the gap widens to 57,190 when compared with the turnout in 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
But the beauty for the BJD is, despite lower turnout Sulochana Das polled over 1.74 lakh votes to grab a higher vote share of over 55.77 percent as against 55.2 percent in Assembly polls and 45 percent in 2019 LS elections.
But the trend of lower vote share with lower turnout is quite conspicuous for the saffron party. In the Lok Sabha polls, the turnout was over 3.7 lakhs and BJP garnered over 51 percent vote share in the City.
The vote polled was down to 3.62 lakh in the Assembly polls and BJP vote share was down to 36.3 percent.
And as the votes polled tumbled down further to over 3,12 lakh in the Mayoral polls, BJP's vote share was down to 36.2 percent.
The Key Takeaway
The above number-crunching shows unlike BJD, the saffron party is yet to carve a committed voter base in the State Capital. As the BJP's voters are independent thinkers, in order to win hands down in the Capital City, the party has to field charismatic candidates who can act as a vote magnet for the party.