BJD Leading To Landslide Victory In Rural Polls In Odisha

Bhubaneswar:  The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) led by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is leading to a landslide victory in the Panchayat polls for which counting is underway. According to officials of the State Election Commission (SEC), counting for the 315 Zilla Parishad (ZP) zones started on Saturday while counting for 305 ZP zones was underway on Sunday.

Counting of votes for remaining ZP zones will be taken up on February 28.

Out of the 315 ZP zones of the first day of counting, final results of 300 zones are out. Registering a landslide victory, the BJD has won 268 ZP seats while the BJP, which has emerged as the second largest party in Odisha during last rural poll held in 2017, has been able to win only 14 seats. The Congress too won 14 seats.

Two independent and two other political party candidates won the ZP seats, the SEC officials said.

Of the 305 ZP seats where counting was underway (till 2 p.m. on Sunday) the BJD was leading in 253 seats, BJP in 23, Congress in 16 and others in 4. The BJD had won 476 seats in 2017.

The rural polls in Odisha were conducted in five phases on February 16, 18, 20, 22 and 24. A total of 2.2 lakh candidates were in the fry as the State Election Commission (SEC) had already declared 36,523 ward members, 126 Sarpanchs, 326 Samiti members, and one Zilla Parishad member as elected uncontested.