BHUBANESWAR: Exit polls notwithstanding, the counting of votes on Friday has political parties on their edge in Odisha. While the BJD looks forward to a comfortable majority in the Assembly, the BJP and Congress are keen to make a dent.
Though predictions of different BJD leaders eyeing cabinet berths in the next government in the state vary, they are unanimous that the party would have a comfortable majority. Revenue and disaster management minister Surya Narayan Patro said that the BJD would win 85 to 90 seats and form the government without support from any other political party. His party colleague Amar Prasad Satpathy was, however, more optimistic by predicting that the BJD’s tally would touch 100 seats. Satpathy said the BJD is confident of forming government with a substantial margin.
Rajya Sabha member Kalpataru Das, a former parliamentary affairs minister, also predicted more than 100 seats for the BJD.
Government chief whip Prabhat Tripathy hoped that the BJD would win around 100 seats. He said the process of government formation would start from May 18. All the newly elected MLAs would reach Bhubaneswar either on Friday evening or Saturday morning to elect the leader at the BJDLP meeting, he said. BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma, however, did not guess about the number of Assembly and Lok Sabha seats the party would win. The result would be the best in the history of BJP in Odisha, Sharma said. The party’s tally would increase substantially in Assembly and Lok Sabha, he said. Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Jaydev Jena exuded confidence about a better performance by the Congress in the state despite his colleagues predicting the worst ever performance by the party.
The Congress tally in Odisha may even touch 50, Jena said, adding those predicting a decimation of the party would be proved wrong.