Will Odisha continue to defy the national trend: A twist time?
New Delhi, Apr 04: Odisha has always defied the national trend and we have seen this since the past two decades. Odisha continued to be ruled by one party, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), despite trends at the centre changing over the years.
There are a couple of issues this time around that suggest that the trend would change. The perception that Naveen Patnaik provided a corruption free government is changing and this is one of the factors that could hurt the BJD. Naveen Patnaik successfully retained power with this anti-corruption stance.
However since the past couple of years there has been a change in the peoples's thought process as they feel that the Odisha CM has been slow to act against the corrupt. Adding to the woes of the BJD are issues such as the mining and chit fund scam.
The BJD which has remained a united force is also faced with the issue of rebellion over the years.
Many feel that the young are not being given a chance and the BJD has been indifferent towards the aspirations of such leaders. The BJD had created a perception that the ticket distribution process is a democratic one. However that perception has changed to a large extent today.
Another key factor is the emergence of the BJP in Odisha. The BJP has grown considerably over the years and after a long time, the BJD is up against a strong opposition. Further, the BJD has also been hurt after important leaders such as Baijayant Panda, Damodar Rout and Bijoy Mahapatra joined the BJP.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, despite a Modi wave, the trend in Odisha did not change. Out of the 21 seats, the BJD won 20, while the BJP bagged one. The vote share of the BJD was at 44.10 per cent when compared to the 21.50 per cent of the BJP. The Congress on the other hand did not win a single seat, but ended up with a vote share of 26 per cent.
In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, the BJD bagged 14 seats, while the Congress and CPI won 6 and 1 seats respectively. In the 2004 elections, the BJP had 7, the Congress, 2 and the BJD ended up with 11.
In the first election that the BJD contested in 1998, the party ended up with 8 seats, the BJP, 7 and Congress, 5.