Panchayat polls: BJP makes inroads into BJD bastion

Bhubaneswar: The outcome of the first phase Panchayat polls in Odisha the unofficial results of which was declared yesterday, has become more disconcerting for the ruling BJD as the BJP, its erstwhile ally, has made inroads into its bastion.

As per the unofficial results, out of the four Zilla Parishad seats in Narasinghpur block in Cuttack district, BJP has wrested three seats. The four Zilla Parishads are presently under control by senior BJD and minister Debi Prasad Mishra.

In Mayurbhanj district, the saffron party has struck a telling blow to two BJD heavyweights—minister Sudam Marandi and Deputy Speaker Sananda Marandi— as it has grabbed 12 out of 15 Zilla Parishad zones.

In Kalahandi district, minister Pushpendra Singhdeo has received a jolt as the BJP has made a clean sweep in all nine Zilla Parishad zones with three each in Koksara, Dharmagarh and Jayapatna zones.

Similar is the fate of another minister Snehangini Chhuria as the BJP has captured five out of seven Zilla Parishad zones in Bargarh district.

The sterling performance of the saffron party in Bolangir district has baffled minister Jogendra Behera and senior Congress leader and leader of the Opposition Narasingh Mishra as it has wrested six out of seven Zilla Parishad zones in Agalpur, Puintala and Loisinga blocks.

On the other hand, BJD has grabbed three Zilla Parishad seats under Kanas block which the Congress had captured in the previous Panchayat polls under the leadership of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Prasad Harichandan.

Besides, loss of two Zilla Parishad seats in Nuapada district to the BJD has put BJP state president Basant Panda in an embarrassing situation.

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