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Pradeep Pattanayak

The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is ahead in around 90 percent seats in the recently concluded three-tier Panchayat elections as the counting of votes cintinues for the second day. 

As the Conch party is marching towards a landslide victory, political pundits have started discussing about the factors that worked for the party. Like, the several schemes announced to please all sections during general elections, the party had declared many attractive schemes well ahead of the Panchayat polls. 

The master stroke was the distribution of Smart Health Cards in villages and the cards were distributed by none other than Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. 

Similarly, Rs 1000 each was distributed among 96,00,000 families in the name of Covid assistance money. This apart, Rs 3,500 for repairing houses, transformation of schools, financial assistance to Mission Shakti groups, appointment of teachers and hike in  their salaries were carried out.

These are the factors that helped the BJD register a thumping victory.  It is also said that the clean image of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik contributed a lot to the party’s victory. 

At the same time, the BJD had devised a strategy to strengthen it at the grass-root level. The party managed to bring the leaders of the Opposition parties to its fold. Its leaders were assigned with target as per the zone wise.  

On the other hand, the Opposition parties have alleged that the ruling party had used government officers and spent money like water. 

“It is not Janadesh, it is ‘Dhanadesh’. It amounts to the murder of democracy,” said BJP MP Pratap Sarangi. 

Senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra said, “The kind of gossips had hinted it that a change was about to happen. The people caused the change but not what I would thought of.”

In a veiled attack at MP Pratap Sarangi, BJD leader Pratap Deb said, “They are calling it ‘Dhanadesh’. But they are at the Centre and don’t lack in money. As per the Election Commission, your party is the richest one. So, you shouldn’t have talked like this.” 

Similarly, there are several reasons that caused the debacle for the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP). The party was not able to strengthen its base in the State due to Assembly elections in five states. Heavy weights not able to give time for Panchayat elections and the party was not able to create a negative vibe against the ruling party. Thoese are said to be the factors that proved catastrophic for the party. 

And, the Congress’s dismal performance is due to leadership problem and internal conflicts. 

“The BJD has provided benefits to each and every section. One or the other members of a family are getting benefits from the government. People don’t have any faith in the Oppositiin leaders,” observed senior journalist Rabi Das.

It is now to be seen how the results of the Panchayat elections would affect the general elections.

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