**Bhubaneswar**: As the counting has touched its zenith, the picture of electoral victory is now focused on ruling party BJD. With a thumping victory clearly visible in Bijepur, the morale of the BJD workers zoomed up as this win will reaffirm Naveen Patnaik as the undisputed tallest leader in Odisha politics.
Bijepur, considered as the precursor to the next general elections, will leave an indelible mark on the minds of voters which may influence the electorate in the run-up to 2019 polls. The BJD party workers, whose confidence had got jolted after the below-expected performance in the three-tier panchayat polls last year, would now be rejuvenated and march forward to the 2019 general elections in a more galvanised mode.
The BJD leaders are likely to develop an unfailing trust regarding the decisions of their supremo and his core political team and follow him without any question. Regarded as the ‘lucky mascot,’ they will rely totally on ‘Brand Naveen Patnaik’ for the forthcoming elections.
According to senior journalist Dillip Bisoi, “Undoubtedly, this win will register a moral boost to the BJD party workers and its supremo and will give the intended escalation for the forthcoming general elections. The vote pattern of Naveen Babu is increasing since 2000 elections. His popularity has been invincible till now which clearly projects that there is no alternative to Naveen Patnaik in Odisha politics. BJD has emerged as the supreme party in Odisha over the years.”
In the three-tier panchayat polls last year, the BJP had managed to secure a second position, pushing back the Congress. It had made a stride in Odisha politics and on a challenging mode to the ruling pary. That will be hugely compensated with this Bijepur win for the BJD and will make the political path easier for it in the forthcoming general polls. They will definitely have an edge over the BJP as ‘Dharmendra Pradhan card’ did not work this time.
Ahead of the general elections scheduled to be held next year, Naveen Patnaik will have loads of work. A lot will depend on how fit Naveen is to campaign in 2019 elections and pull it through as the entire campaign burden would lie on his shoulders.