Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Apr 2:
The three major parties in Odisha – BJD, Congress and BJP – have reacted along predictable lines to the CNN-IBN-Lokniti-CSDS national election tracker projections for the coming elections that suggest the Congress, for the first time ever, may be relegated to the third position in the state.
While the Congress has understandably rubbished the projections, the BJD has said it would perform better than the tracker suggests. The BJP, the biggest gainer in the period since the last such exercise in January this year, has gone to town shouting ‘I told you so’ from the rooftops.
The poll suggests that the Congress has managed to lose an incredible 5% of its vote share since the last tracker exercise in January –from 31 to 26 per cent – and could end up with a maximum of just four out of the 21 Lok Sabha seats up for grabs in the state. During the same period, the BJP has apparently done the seemingly unthinkable by adding a whopping 5 per cent to its vote share of 25% in January and stands to win 3-7 Lok Sabha seats.
While the BJP and the Congress battle it out for the second position, the ruling BJD continues to hold on to its Numero Uno position with a 34% share of the popular vote that could translate into 10-16 seats.
If the tracker is anything to go by, the Congress has a lot be worried about. But PCC president Jayadev Jena put up a brave front dismissing the findings of the poll as ‘erroneous’. “It may be right for the media crazy people. The Congress party is in very good position and will get double the number of seats it did this time. We will also form government in Odisha,” said Jena.
BJD vice-president and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kalpataru Das repudiated the findings of the survey and said the partyh would do much better. “As per our estimate, we will get 18 out of the 21 Lok Sabha seats and 110 of the Assembly seats,” he told OST.
Over the moon after the findings, the BJP is now even talking in terms of replacing the BJD as the No 1 party in the election. “The people of Odisha obviously want to see Modi as next PM and the survey shows just that. It shows that we are gaining in vote share. I am sure that by the end of the second phase of polls, we will be ahead of the other two parties since we are just four per cent behind the ruling party,” said BJP spokesperson and Sambalpur Lok Sabha candidate Suresh Pujari.