BHUBANESWAR: Continuing with its winning spree, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Wednesday captured the Balangir and Titlagarh urban local bodies (ULBs), elections for which were held on Tuesday.
The results have come as a further setback for the Congress and the BJP whose performances deteriorated further. While the BJD won 14 out of 15 wards in Titlagarh, in Balangir, the candidates of the ruling party were successful in 15 seats, while the Congress won 4. The BJP and the independents won in one seat each.
The BJD’s win in Balangir municipality is important as the party was defeated in the recently held Assembly polls from the constituency. Congress candidate Narasingh Mishra had defeated former minister A U Singhdeo by more than 12,500 votes in the Assembly polls.
However, one of the main reasons behind the Congress defeat in the ULB polls seems to be absence of Mishra from campaigning because of health reasons. On the other hand, four ministers and more than a dozen MLAs of the ruling party camped in the town to monitor the BJD campaign.
In the Assembly polls, Congress candidate Mishra had polled more votes from rural areas, Balangir and Deogaon blocks. While the lead from Balangir block was more than 6,000 votes, Deogaon had given a lead of more than 5,000 votes to Mishra. Balangir town area had given a slender lead of only 1,000 votes to Mishra.
Mishra accepted the people’s mandate and welcomed the results. The results of the two ULBs have come a few days before the visit of AICC secretary Subhonkar Sarkar. Sarkar will be visiting different Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies to interact with the candidates and workers to identify the reasons behind the party’s defeat in the polls.
The State executive of the Congress will be held after Sarkar’s visit to discuss the party’s debacle in the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls.