BJP 2nd largest party in Odisha Panchayat polls; Cong 3rd

Bhubaneswar: The BJP has emerged as the principal gainer by becoming the second largest party in rural Odisha pushing the Congress to the third position, even as the state’s ruling BJD won majority seats.

According to results declared by the State Election Commission (SEC), of the 846 Zilla Parishad seats for which polls were held in five phases from February 13, the BJD has won 473 seats and the BJP 297.

The Congress was left with just 60 seats.

In the last Odisha Panchayat elections held in 2012, the BJD had won 654 seats, followed by the Congress with 128, and the BJP 36 seats out of 854 seats.

Out of 846 ZP seats, results of Belapada constituency in Bolangir district, Niali seat in Cuttack district and Shergada constituency in Ganjam district were withheld, the SEC release said, adding elections were not held in ZP constituencies number 7 and 8 of Chitrakonda in Malkangiri due to Maoist threats.

The SEC release said the CPI has won two ZP seats, while the CPI(M), JMM and the Ama Odisha Party have won one seat each.

Independent candidates have won 11 seats.

Election was countermanded at 20-Gania ZP constituency in Nayagarh district the death of a candidate and polling was not conducted 2-Komna ZP seat in Nuapada district following a high court order.

While the ruling BJD secured majority in 16 districts, the BJP got a clear mandate to form Zilla Parishad Councils in eight districts. The Congress could secure majority only in Jharsuguda district.

The districts where the BJD got clear majority were Jajpur, Angul, Balasore, Bhadrak, Boudh, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Ganjam, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Keonjhar, Khurda, Koraput, Nayagarh, Nuapada and Puri.

The BJP is all set to form ZP Councils in Bargarh, Bolangir, Deogarh, Kalahandi, Malkangiri, Mayurbhanj, Sambalpur and Subarnapur districts.

The picture in Nabarangpur, Gajapati, Rayagada, Kandhamal and Sundergarh districts remained unclear as voters did not give absolute mandate to any party.

Earlier, the results for the posts of Sarpanchs, Panchayat Samity and Ward members were announced at block level.