BHUBANESWAR: Perplexed by the saffron surge, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is at a loss to find a way to check the BJP juggernaut in the ongoing panchayat elections which will enter into
the third phase polling tomorrow.
As unofficial results of the first two phase polls indicate, the BJD tally has been reduced by nearly 90 seats. In the first two phase polls in 2012, elections in equal number of seats were held in
the same areas and BJD had won in 290 seats compared to the projection of 200 to 205 seats in this election.
There has, however, been a tenfold increase in the number seats won by the BJP. While the party won in 12 seats in 2012 polls in the first two phase, the number will vary between 120 to 125 seats in this election.
Though BJD has continued with its number of one position so far, the BJP has made heavy inroads in Kalahandi, Mayurbhanj, Bolangir, Angul, Bargarh, Sambalpur, Nabarangpur, Cuttack and Kendrapara
districts. The party is set to capture Zilla Parishads in Kalahandi, Mayurbhanj, Bolangir and Angul districts.
The BJP has made a clean sweep in Kalahandi in the first two phases while in Mayurbhanj it has won in more than 90 percent of the seats. The party is also set to have a majority in Bolangir, Angul, Bargarh, Sambalpur and Nabarangpur districts.
Meanwhile, senior Congress leaders have started criticising the state leadership for the party's debacle in the panchayat polls. Congress which has been relegated to the third position in the fight between the BJD and BJP is yet to open its account in as many as 18 districts so far.
Senior Congress leader former president of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Niranjan Patnaik today said indiscipline and lack of sincere efforts to reach out to the people has led to the Congress debacle in the panchayat polls.
"There is no point in blaming others as we have to accept the defeat and respect the people's mandate," Patnaik told mediapersons.
Congress chief whip in the assembly Tara Prasad Bahinipati also blamed the weak organisational base and lack resources for the defeat of party candidates in the panchayat polls. "Congress gave
only Rs 25,000 per Zilla Parishad zone. How can we fight BJD and BJP with this meagre amount," he said.