Did Modi Wave Work Partially In Odisha Lok Sabha Polls?

Bhubaneswar: Amid the landslide and historic victory of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the recently concluded general elections across the nation under the stewardship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a dissection of the democratic outcome in Odisha hints at a partial sway of the gargantuan magic of BJP’s poster boy PM Modi.

It is evident from the results after counting of votes yesterday as the Modi wave’s impact has also been very much felt in Odisha since the saffron party has bagged 23 assembly seats and poised to be the main opposition party pushing Congress to the back burner.

Besides, BJP has also wrested 8 Lok Sabha seats from Odisha in comparison to its 2014 tally of only one seat vis-à-vis ruling BJD’s 20 Lok Sabha seats out of the total 21. This time BJD has won 12 and Congress is consoled with one while it had nil last time.

Thus, BJD is of the opinion that Modi magic did work in Odisha this time, but failed to work the expected wonder as BJP used to aggressively flaunt its Mission Odisha 120+ in the Assembly as well as sweeping the Lok Sabha polls.     

In his reactions, senior BJD leader and Puri MP Pinaki Mishra said, “The biggest problem is that Congress completely collapsed. Bipolar fight is always tight. Some ‘lahar’ (Modi wave) was definitely there, but Naveen Babu’s ‘lahar’ (wave) is bigger ‘lahar’.”

On the defeat of Puri BJD MLA candidate Maheswar Mohanty, he remarked, “Maheswar Babu’s defeat is an unfortunate defeat, but we’ll rebuild once again. There is a need for the rebuilding of entire organizational structure in Puri. And I think, the rebuilding process for the urban local body election will create a very good impact. Brahmagiri assembly segment often experiences a tight finish. Sanjay Babu (Das Burma) is a big fighter and will obviously fight there in future.”

Taking a swipe at BJP’s national president, he Puri MP commented, “Amit Shah had claimed 120+. Why then only 20?”

Another senior BJD leader and MLA Debi Prasad Mishra reacted, “How could BJD win so much seats in Odisha? Perhaps, the people voted separately for the Lok Sabha as they won’t cast votes to a vaccum in India. Perhaps the main opposition UPA or Federal Front couldn’t spell its appeal effectively on the voters.”

“But it’s certain from the results that Naveen Babu is going to be the Chief Minister for the record fifth time in Odisha. Being elected frequently despite being in power is a rare record in the country. Naveen Babu’s stream of development has touched all sections of people of Odisha. The voters trust him and casted vote in favour development,” he remarked.

Yet another senior BJD leader and MLA Sameer Dash stated, “Under the leadership of our hon’ble Chief Minister the organizational status of BJD is very strong and sturdy. Hence, there is question of any ‘lahar’. It’s true that we had won 20 Lok Sabha seats and this time it has indeed gone less, but the contest was very tight.”

“Post Balakot incident (surgical strike), a wave swept that Modi could ensure security to the nation. The slogan during the electioneering in that context was never observed in Indian politics. As BJP was able create such a conducive atmosphere in favour of PM Modi, this all happened. However, the people of Odisha have voted for Naveen Patnaik’s rule and developmental works,” he argued.

On the other hand, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Niranjan Patnaik commented, “The people have this time voted very intelligently, for Assembly casted votes for BJD and for Parliament to BJP. This trend was never in Odisha. The voters are gradually becoming matured.”    

Notably, BJP alone has clinched 303 out of the total 542 Lok Sabha seats while in Odisha it has wrested 8 out of the total 21 seats in comparison to its arch political rival BJD’s 12 seats.

On the other hand, BJD has once again won 112 assembly seats out of the 146 seats where polling was held.