No BJD member in Lok Sabha for first time, party’s vote share drops

The party has faced a complete rout in LS election and lost 62 Assembly seats as compared to its 2019 tally.
BJD flag used for representational purposes only.
BJD flag used for representational purposes only.

BHUBANESWAR: After suffering a resounding defeat at the hands of BJP in the recently-concluded elections, the BJD now stares at irrelevance at the national level as the regional outfit for the first time will have no member in the Lok Sabha since its formation on December 27, 1997.

The BJD, which had 12 LS members in the last House, extended support to Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government in almost all matters and bailed out the Centre several times in passing controversial bills including the Triple Talaq Act. But this time, the party has faced a complete rout in LS election and lost 62 Assembly seats as compared to its 2019 tally.

Sources in BJD said a decision will be taken by party supremo Naveen Patnaik on the role to be played at the national level as the party has nine Rajya Sabha members. “The party president will take a decision in this regard after review of the poll performance is over,” a senior leader said.

The BJD leader further said the party is unlikely to join any group, NDA or INDIA bloc, as it will have no meaning after drawing blank in the LS polls. “We will play a role to protect the interest of the state at the national level as the party has done so far,” he added.

All eyes are now on Naveen to spell out BJD’s next move to rebuild the party. The party not only conceded ground to main rival BJP across the state but has also been decimated in tribal districts like Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada and Mayurbhanj. In its traditional stronghold of Ganjam, BJD has suffered severe reverses as only Naveen succeeded in holding on to his seat.

Region wise, BJD has been routed in the Assembly elections in south Odisha. In the coastal districts which were considered to be the party’s bastion, BJD ceded ground to BJP in Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak and Jajpur.

The drop in the party’s vote share was also more in the LS polls in comparison to the Assembly election. In the LS elections, BJD polled 37.53 per cent votes this time as compared to 43.32 per cent in 2019 election, a drop of 5.79 per cent. In the 2014 and 2009 elections, the BJD polled 44.77 per cent and 37.23 per cent votes by winning 20 and 14 LS seats respectively. In contrast, the BJP’s vote share increased by 6.52 per cent in 2019 LS election. The BJP polled 45.34 per cent of votes compared to 38.82 per cent in 2019.

In Assembly elections, BJD’s vote share dropped to 40.22 per cent compared to 44.71 per cent in 2019. The party had secured 43.41 per cent and 38.86 per cent votes in 2014 and 2009 elections.

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