Home Politics BJP Wrests Odisha Power

BJP Wrests Odisha Power

Bhubaneswar: The BJP, which had won only 23 MLA seats in 2019 elections, stormed to power in the State by dethroning the 24-year BJD government.

The BJP won 78 seats in the 147-member Assembly while the BJD won 51 seats and Congress won 14 seats while the CPI(M) won one seat.

Independent candidates won in three assembly seats. They were Himansu Sekhar Sahu (Dharmasala), Bijay Kumar Dalbehera (Baramba) and Sarada Prasad Pradhan (Mahanga). They were in BJP and left to fight as Independent as the party denied them ticket.

Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik lost the Kantabanji Assembly seat to his nearest rival BJP candidate Laxman Bag.  However, Patnaik won from the Hinjili seat by defeating his nearest BJP rival Sisir Kumar Mishra by 4,636 votes.

Leader of Opposition and BJP candidate Jayanarayan Mishra won Sambalpur MLA seat with a margin of 4,105 votes. BJP chief whip in Odisha Assembly Mohan Charan Majhi won the Keonjhar seat defeating his nearest rival Mina Majhi of BJD by 11,577 votes.

The other BJP candidates who won are Prithviraj Hairchandran (Chilika), Ashwini Kumar Sarangi (Bargarh), Bhabani Shankar Bhoi (Talsara), Padma Charan Haiburu (Karanjia), Kanhai Charan Danga (Kantamal), Dusmanta Kumar Swain (Khandapada), Fakir Mohan Naik (Telkoi), Sanat Gartia (Bijepur), Prasanta Kumar Jagadev (Khurda), Raghunath Jagadala (Birmaharajpur), Narasinga Madkami (Malkangiri), Ganesh Ramsing Khuntia (Jashipur),Sanjali Murmu (Bangriposi), Sudhir Ranjan Pattjoshi (Dharamgarh) and Saroj Kumar Pradhan (Boudh).

However, BJP state President Manmohan Samal tasted defeat in the election. Shri Samal was defeated from Chandbali MLA seat by 1916 votes. BJD candidate Byomokesh Ray won the seat.

Similarly, former Union Minister Dillip Ray lost the Rourkela MLA seat to BJD nominee Sarad Prasad Nayak by 3552 votes. BJP MLA from Puri Jayant Sarangi, former leader of opposition Pradipta Naik have also tasted defeat in the election.

The BJP, which had last won only eight Lok Sabha seats, in 2024 secured 20 Parliamentary seats while Congress got one, said an official.

All top BJP leaders including Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Aparajita Sarangi, Baijayant Panda, Pratap Sarangi, Jual Oram and Pradeep Panigrahi won the Lok Sabha election.  

This would be the first BJP government in the political history of Odisha. Though the BJP was in alliance with the BJD and formed the government from 2000 to 2009, the combination collapsed ahead of the 2009 general elections.

The BJP has been contesting against the BJD and failed to make any remarkable performance till 2024. Even prior to the 2024 elections, there was an attempt to go for a seat-sharing between the BJD and the BJP, which incidentally failed.

Odisha this time also witnessed intense campaigning by the BJP with Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself addressing 10 poll rallies besides holding two road shows in Bhubaneswar and Puri.

 “The BJP central leaders have held at least 245 election meetings across the state,” said BJP state vice-president Golak Mohapatra.

The 2024 election in Odisha is unique because the poll was fought on the issue of Odia “Asmita” (pride).

While political analysts were busy dissecting the election results, party insiders pointed out that BJD’s campaign was too weak in the face of BJP’s high-profile electioneering.

Besides Shri Modi, top BJP leaders like Amit Shah, J P Nadda, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Smriti Irani, Hema Malini and many others canvassed for their party candidates while the BJD’s campaigning was confined to just two persons- Naveen Patnaik and his close aide VK Pandian.

The issue of the “missing key” of Lord Jagannath’s Ratna Bhandar (treasury) was raised and the BJP alleged that Patnaik was “outsourcing” the government and the party.

 In the last leg of the campaigning, BJP national vice-president Baijayant Panda alleged that a vote to BJD means empowering Shri Pandian, a bureaucrat turned politician, whom the opposition accused of manipulating an “ailing” Shri Patnaik.

Questions were also raised on the Chief Minister’s health as he appeared to be unable to pick up his microphone to address the public during the election campaigning.

Prime Minister Shri Modi made Shri Patnaik’s health a major issue and even suggested that there could be a conspiracy behind the “sudden deterioration” in his condition.

The BJD on the other hand focused on telling voters about the different welfare schemes introduced by the Naveen Patnaik government.

The major issues against the BJP-led central government like “price rise”, the alleged “neglect” of Odisha and unemployment could not be raised properly leading to the BJD’s defeat.