Himansu Shekhar Rout

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will win at least 15 Lok Sabha seats in Odisha, asserted Union Education and Skill Development Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan.

Speaking at a programme in New Delhi on Thursday, the Union Minister also claimed that the BJP will garner 45 percent of votes in the 2024 general elections. Pradhan said that while the party had a 22 percent vote share in the 2014 general elections with just one LS seat in Odisha, the vote share went up to 38 percent in the 2019 general elections with 8 LS seats. 

Exuding confidence about his party’s electoral performance in the next elections, Pradhan further added, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has an approval rating of 80 percent in Odisha while the vote share of the BJP is increasing in the Assembly elections every year.”

However, the Biju Janata Dal(BJD) and the Congress refuted the claims of the Union Minister about the BJP’s electoral prospects in Odisha.

BJD leader Amar Prasad Satpathy said that many political parties often make their assertions to attract people. “In fact, the BJD’s mandate and vote base under the leadership of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has remained intact. The vote base is rather increasing. His clean and transparent leadership and people-oriented plans and programs are getting people’s approval. It is seen that our vote percentage is increasing and we will win more seats,” he claimed.       

Former Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president, Jaydev Jena was sarcastic about the BJP and the Union Minister. He observed, "The Union Minister has made such assertions after being carried away by his party’s electoral performance in the recently-concluded Assembly elections in the three states, but he has not done a proper post-mortem of the poll results.”

He also said that the BJP has formed governments in the three states, but after forming the government, all know what kind of situation cropped up over the CM posts. “The Union Minister has not realised what future lies ahead for the BJP in such a situation. The Congress has 12 lakh more votes than the BJP in those states. Dharmendra Babu has become too enthusiastic about his party,” he said.

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