Ramakanta Biswas

Though the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) repeated its Panchayat elections success in the urban polls, sweeping majority of the civic bodies across the State, the poll statistics in Hinjili, the home constituency of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik painted a different picture altogether.

If the results are any indication, there seem to be the dominance of the Opposition parties in CM’s home ground. The poll results reflect an apparent public discontentment against the ruling party.

The Conch party has captured the Hinjili municipality comprising 21 Wards, but could not teste success in all the Wards. BJD rebel candidates clinched four Wards in the civic body while one Ward each was claimed by Opposition BJP and Congress party.

BJP candidate Santosh Panigrahi lost the post of chairman of the municipality to BJD’s Subash Palei by only 1654 votes. 

“There is no doubt the voting percentage of BJP has increased. If we get any instruction from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, we will analyse it,” said Palai.

The ruling party has also bitten the dust in some other civic bodies in Ganjam district. Though Chhatrapur Assembly Constituency belongs to BJD, the party has lost all three NACs under the constituency. 

The BJP has captured Chatrapur and Rambha NACs. Although the BJD candidates won 10 out of 12 Wards of Ganjam NAC, independent candidate Pratibha Padhi clinched the chairperson post.

There are rumours that the alleged rift between incumbent BJD MLA Subash Chandra Behera and his predecessor Pruyanshu Pradhan resulted in poor performance of the party. 

The NAC chairperson post in Digapahandi, the home turf of State Assembly Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro, went to Congress’ Prafulla Panda. Likewise, BJP claimed Kodala NAC chairperson post in Kabisuryanagar constituency. BJD’s Latika Pradhan is the sitting MLA from the constituency.   

Priyanka Gouda, an independent candidate won the chairperson post of Purusottam NAC in Khallikote NAC. 

BJD Ganjam district president Ramesh Chandra Chyau Patnaik said the party has taken a serious note of the poll results and began an analysis. 

“Vote share of BJD has increased in Ganjam district. There might be minor fault which we will rectify. We will analyse it and act accordingly,” Chyau Patnaik said. 

Odisha BJP vice-president Bhrugu Baxipatra said, “The poll results indicate that people started turning away from BJD and begun to seek change. Whenever a change will happen, the wave will first start from southern Odisha like Ganjam and undivided Koraput district.”

OPCC secretary Sambhu Panigrahi said, “Though we are lagging behind in the race, we shattered the dream of some people who were eyeing for Congress minus Hinjili. The CM magic does not work here.”