Suryakant Jena

Bhubaneswar: Amid political speculations on increasing nearness between the BJP and BJD, senior saffron party leader and former minister Damodar Rout on Wednesday created a flutter by claiming that Odisha might witness a hung Assembly in 2019 polls as BJP will win a number of seats.

“In the last elections, BJP managed to win only one Lok Sabha seat but this time around, it will definitely grab at least 13 to 14 Lok Sabha seats, undoubtedly,” Rout said claiming that the development might dent ruling BJD’s prospect of forming government in Odisha.

“I believe BJP might form government in Odisha or might not and so too BJD, so there is every likelihood of a hung Assembly here,” said Rout.

Speaking on the alliance chatter, Rout said, “In case of a coalition no one has anything to complain and I believe that such a government will be more effective than the present unproductive one.”

The senior leader further said that once an alliance comes into play, it will be an end to the 'Officer Raj' (bureaucratic rule) in Odisha.

Ruling BJD is yet to respond to Damodar Rout's statements.

It may be noted that results of the four-phased polling for the General elections in the State conducted on April 11, 18, 23 and 29 will be declared on May 23.