ROURKELA: At the end of the fourth phase poll to three-tier Panchayati Raj Institutions on Sunday, the BJP surged ahead as BJD failed to make any major gains. The fate of bigwigs in the BJD hangs in balance after poor performance in the election and this will prove to be a deciding factor for many leaders of both the BJD and the BJP. The BJD suffered a major jolt in Bargarh district where BJP nominees are ahead in Bijepur 2 and 3 along with Gaiselet 1 and 2, while Bijepur 1 has gone to the BJD.
These two areas are under Bijepur Assembly segment, represented by three-time Congress MLA Subal Sahu. The BJP nominees clinched important lead in Barkote 1, 2 and 3 in Deogarh district and now have four nominees in the seven-member Council against one nominee of the BJD. However, the result of Tileibani zone 1 for the BJP is crucial to form the Council as the post is reserved for OBC (Woman) and the BJP has just one OBC (Woman) candidate contesting from Tileibani zone 1. In Balangir, the BJP maintained lead in Bongamunda 2, Turekela 1 and 2 and Muribahal 1 and 2 even as the BJD and Congress remained ahead in Bongamunda 1 and Muribahal 3 respectively. The aura around former Minister and MLA of Birmaharajpur, Padmanabh Behera, failed to garner votes for the BJD as BJP made a clean sweep of Ullunda 1 and 2 in Sonepur district. With this, the BJP will form the Council with party nominees leading in eight zones in the 13-member Council, while the BJD has just three nominees. In Nuapada, BJD nominees took the lead in Sinapali 2 and 3 while Sinapali 1 went to the Congress. The BJP failed to perform once again with the party failing to open its account in the district despite Nuapada Assembly segment having State BJP president Basanta Panda as its MLA.