BHUBANESWAR: The high turnout in the first phase polls to four Lok Sabha constituencies and 28 Assembly seats has political circles abuzz with speculations over the outcome even as the main contenders BJD, BJP and Congress claimed to have done better than the last elections.
More than 80 per cent polling in Nabarangpur has left political observers guessing as to whether it is a sign of anti-incumbency or better voter mobilisation, particularly by the ruling BJD. According to reports, some booths in Umerkote Assembly segment of the district reported 90 to 95 per cent polling while voting continued till late evening in several booths of Jharigam Assembly segment.
The final voting in Nabarangpur is likely to cross 85 per cent as polling parties are yet to reach the district headquarters. In 2014 polls, Nabarangpur had recorded 78.86 per cent polling and BJD candidate Balabhadra Majhi won from the constituency. Balabhadra quit BJD and was fielded by BJP as its candidate from the Lok Sabha seat.
The adjacent Koraput also witnessed high polling giving confusing signals though reports suggest that anti-incumbency may be a factor here. Polling percentage of many booths were yet to be compiled in the constituency till reports last came in. Officials maintained that so far polling was more than 60 per cent and likely to cross last elections’ 76.18 per cent. Difference of polling percentage in 2014 polls in the two constituencies was over two per cent. It is expected that the trend will be same this time also.
Reports from Kalahandi also said there was over 70 per cent polling and likely to cross last time’s 75.83 per cent. Kalahandi is the only constituency where Modi wave was perceptible and the BJD had drawn a blank in the last Zilla Parishad polls.
At Berhampur, where former Union minister Chandrasekhar Sahu of BJD is locked in a three cornered fight with Bhrugu Baxipatra of BJP and V Chadrasekhar Naidu of Congress, the figures were yet to be revealed.
Meanwhile, BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday hoped that his party’s results would be better than the last elections. “I thank the people who have come in large numbers to vote today. I expect the results to be better than the 2014 elections,” he said.
Other the other hand, state BJP in-charge Arun Singh said the party will win three fourth majority and form Government in Odisha.