BJD bags 70 ZP zones; 57 for BJP in final phase of panchayat polls

Bhubaneswar: In the fifth and final phase of panchayat elections, results of which were yet to be declared officially, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has won 70 Zilla Parishad zones while its arch rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has shown its strength in 57 zones.

The Congress which had won as many as 126 seats of the 851 ZP seats in the last rural polls in 2012, has captured 15 of the 150 zones which went to polls on Tuesday.

Till this report was filed other political parties have won three ZP zones.

Going by the results of the four phases of the rural polls, the BJD has been able to maintain its supremacy in the coastal districts though the BJP has made heavy inroads into strongholds of the ruling party. BJP’s gain in Jagagsinghpur, Kendrapara and Cuttack is unexpected.

Unofficial trends indicate that the ruling BJD is now in a position to form Zilla Parishads in 13 districts- Jagatsinghpur, Ganjam, Kendrapara, Angul, Balasore, Bhadrak, Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Puri, Nuapada, Koraput, Jajpur and Keonjhar. The situation remained unclear in Rayagada, Nabarangpur and Sundargarh districts where the BJP show has improved.

Meanwhile the BJP has established its dominance in the entire Western Odisha belt except in Nuapada and Jharsuguda districts and is in a position to form Zilla Parishads in Kalahandi, Mayurbhanj, Malkangiri, Bolangir, Sonepur, Sambalpur, Bargarh and Deogarh districts.

The BJP is hopeful that the party will gain control of the zila parishads in 8 of the 30 districts, a huge improvement from its dismal performance in the 2012 polls.