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Pradeep Pattanayak

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s performance in the just-concluded Panchayat elections is dismal. The reason is said to be the party’s failure to cash in on the negative wave against the ruling BJD. 

In the 2017 elections, the saffron party had won 297 Zilla Parishad zones and formed ZPs in eight districts like Malkangiri, Kalahandi, Bolangir, Bargarh, Subarnapur, Deogarh and Mayurbhanj. 

This time around, the party failed to touch even a two digit number in any district. 

With hindsight, the party’s leaders are now able to see where they failed. 

“We will find out where we went wrong in Odisha. I urge  the leaders is to think about the faults that proved dearly to the party,” said BJP MP Suresh Pujari. 

“We failed to capitalise on the failures of the State government. We failed in taking the State government’s failures to the people,” observed Pujari. 

BJP MLA Jaynarayan Mishra said they tested debacle as they lacked in effective strategy, floor management and aggressiveness.   

In this Panchayat election, the contest was witnessed between BJP and Congress. In 2017, there was a gap of 237 Zilla Parishad zones between the BJP and Congress. This time around, there is hardly any different between their number of zones. 

“A word is being said that the parties don’t have a leader like Naveen Patnaik. If they project a leader on par with him (Naveen Patnaik), they can easily defeat him,” said senior BJP leader Kharavel Swain. 

According to journalist Rabi Das, the BJD’s micro booth management has contributed to its landslide victory.

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