BHUBANESWAR: Comparatively low polling percentage in the second phase polls in five Lok Sabha constituencies and 35 Assembly seats has created a sense of ease in the ruling BJD camp even as opposition BJP and Congress are also confident of a better performance. Polling was held in Bargarh, Sundargarh, Balangir, Kandhamal and Aska Lok Sabha seats and Assembly constituencies in them. Till reports last came in, 64 per cent polling was recorded in these constituencies. The figure is expected to touch 70 per cent as polling parties are yet to reach the headquarters.
The low percentage has given out confusing signals. With two to three more per cent polling recorded in the last elections, results had gone mainly in favour of the ruling BJD.The five Lok Sabha constituencies had recorded 72.47 per cent voting in 2014 polls. Out of the five constituencies, four is being represented now by the ruling BJD while Sundargarh seat was won by Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram. Out of the 35 Assembly seats where elections were held, BJD had won 24, Congress six, BJP four and CPM one in 2014.
This time, BJD had concentrated on Sundargarh seat to wrest it from BJP which has renominated Oram from the constituency. The low turn out of 54.5 per cent till 5 pm, which is likely to touch 65 per cent, has made the BJD camp optimistic though the BJP too is confident of retaining the seat. In 2014 polls, the constituency recorded 71.66 per cent polling. Sources said the fight in the seat is mainly between BJD and BJP candidates. Oram is facing Sunita Biswal of BJD and George Tirkey of Congress.
The ruling BJD is also confident of retaining Bargarh which witnessed 68 per cent polling till 5 pm. The figure is likely to touch 72 per cent to 73 per cent which will, however, be less than the last election’s 78.71 per cent. Sources said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s candidature from Bijepur Assembly constituency has turned the tide in favour of the ruling BJD. However, Bhatli Assembly constituency from where Energy Minister Sushant Singh is seeking re-election recorded 80 per cent polling, raising hopes in the opposition camp.
BJD is, however, confident of sweeping the Aska Lok Sabha seat and Seven Assembly segments which witnessed a low polling of 53 per cent till 5 pm. The ruling party is also hopeful of putting up a better show in Kandhamal. BJD sources maintained the party will win all the five Lok Sabha seats and at least 30 out of 35 Assembly segments.