BJP’s poll success: Amit Shah congratulates party workers

Bhubaneswar: On Thursday it was BJP national president Amit Shah’s turn, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the party workers in Odisha on Wednesday for their success in first two phases of the ongoing panchayat polls, to follow suit.

Shah took to social networking site Twitter to wish the party activists in Odisha.

Besides wishing his party workers the saffron party leader too congratulated voters of the State for the party’s achievement.

On Wednesday, PM Modi addressing an election rally in Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh, had acknowledged BJP’s good showing in the panchayat polls in Odisha. He wished the party workers for the impressive performance of the party candidates in a similar fashion.

In the first two phases of the poll, results of which are not officially declared by the State Election Commission, the BJD’s lead shrunk owing to a tough fight from the BJP. Of the 188 Zilla Parishad zones that went to polls in the first phase, BJD won in 103 zones while 71 zones went in favour of BJP. In the second phase, the ruling party claimed 97 zones and the BJP won 56 zones.

Just five years ago, the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD had swept the panchayat polls, getting over 77% of the 854 zones in 30 Zilla Parishads, the top-most level of the three-tier panchayati raj system. In comparison, the BJP won a meagre 2% while Congress managed 13%.

The Zilla Parishad polls, fought on party symbols, are generally considered as the barometer of a party’s popularity ahead of the next assembly or Lok Sabha elections.