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Modi magic fails to sway urban voters



Bhubaneswar, Sep 21:

The Odisha unit of the BJP, which banked heavily on the party’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, emerged as the worst sufferer among the three major political parties in the Urban Local Bodies (ULB) elections, results of which were announced on Friday.

The saffron party which had formed councils in 11 ULBs last time in 2008, could only manage to become the single largest party in just one ULB at Rairangpur in Mayurbhanj district. However, the party has to depend on others to form council at Rairangpur.

Though the BJP state leadership, including its president K V Singhdeo, was hopeful that the announcement of Narendra Modi’s name in the middle of electioneering for the ULB elections would help the party candidates to win certain seats, the hopes have been rudely dashed.

As per the results released by the State Election Commission (SEC), BJP candidates could win only in 47 of the total 1121 wards under 66 ULBs where elections were held on September 19. Of the 66 ULBs, the BJP also failed to open its account in about 40 bodies.

Party candidates could capture many ULBs last time in 2008 as the BJP was in electoral alliance with the ruling BJD, pointed out a senior leader adding that the party’s performance in subsequent elections for state assembly in 2009 and panchayat polls were bad after the alliance fell apart.

Modi, who visited Puri during the annual Rath Jatra in July this year appears to have very little impact on the voters in the pilgrim town. Modi’s BJP candidates could win only in two of the total 32 wards in Puri municipality. BJD candidates won in 22 wards followed by Congress which won two. Independents captured four wards in Puri Municipality.

Chief Minister Nvaeen Patnaik, who had stated at the time that Modi did not have a pan-Indian acceptance, seems to have been proved right. (PTI)