BJD sweeps Zilla Parishads

Bhubaneswar: The Opposition Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party would certainly bite the dusts in the panchayat polls with two more phases of polling left if results received tiil the end of the third phase on Wednesday are any indication. The ruling Biju Janata Dal has emerged victorious in 452 Zilla Parishad Zones while polling has been over in 596 Zones. The Congress and the BJP with just 72 and 26 Zones in their bags respectively were no where near the BJD.

Senior BJD leader and Rajya Sabha member Pyarimohan Mohapatra at the end of the third phase of panchayat polls claimed,"The BJD has already claimed majority in 15 revenue districts and would definitely have majority in another seven districts." He however said that the BJD ran neck to neck with the Opposition in Gajapati and Sambalpur districts. The BJD leader admitted that the party fared badly in Kondhmal as it was bedevilled in intra-party wranglings. The party lost in Jharsuguda, the leader said, due to excessive money power and complete partial role played by the district police. The Rajya Sabha member hoped that the BJD would claim majority in 27 out of 30 districts when the final results would be announced on February 22.

The Congress meanwhile was trying to find out the reasons for the lacklustre show. The Pradesh Congress Committee chief Niranjan Pattanaik admitted that the party machinery starting from the bottom to the top was not as much active as it should have been for the panchayat polls. Niranjan stressed on reorganisation of the party from the grassroots level to the top.

The BJD at the end of the third phase has already claimed 75.83 per cent of the Zilla Parishad Zones. It is to be seen whether that percentage goes up when the final results are announced on February 22.