Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 15:
The latest NDTV opinion poll on Odisha has come has a huge shock to the ruling Biju Janata Dal and its supremo Naveen Patnaik.
The leading English news channel, based on its last survey, has concluded that the BJP is gaining heavily in Odisha ‘at the cost of the Congress’ and is all set to win 7 of the 21 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
The channel had earlier predicted a near clean sweep for the BJD in the parliamentary polls, saying it will win as many as 18 of the 21 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
NDTV now says, the support base of the BJD is shrinking and that the maximum number of Lok Sabha seats that it can hope to win will be limited to a maximum of 13- one less than the seats it had won in 2009.
Here is what the NDTV says about its latest findings :
” Riding on a perceived Modi wave, the BJP is set to win 7 of the 21 Lok Sabha seats in Odisha, replacing Congress as the main Opposition party in the state, NDTV opinion poll has forecast.
” The BJP had drawn a blank in the 2009 general election. The Congress, which had cornered six seats five years ago, will have to rest content with a single seat.
“There is a marginal dip in the strength of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal, or the BJD, which has been ruling the state since 2000. It is likely to bag 13 seats, a seat less than what it won in 2009.”
However, the erudite panel that analysed the survey results argued, not too convincingly, that the pro-BJP swing in the Lok Sabha polls is not likely to affect the party’s prospects in the Assembly elections.
Observers say the situation could turn out to be far more more grim for the ruling party than has been imagined by various surveys and pollsters and that the results of the 2014 elections could even lead to the crumbling of the BJD citadel.
” The anti-incumbency factor is pretty strong across the state and there is a perceptible undercurrent that seeks change. Unlike in 2004 and 2009, Naveen’s so-called ‘clean image’ has taken a severe beating following the mining and chit-fund scams and there is also a sense of fatigue with the Naveen brand of politics which now stand fully exposed,” says a very senior politician who is not in the fray this time.
The BJP, which had drawn a blank in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls in Odisha, is now claiming it will win at least 6 of the 10 Lok Sabha seats that went to polls on April 10. The party on Monday claimed it will sweep the Lok Sabha polls and that the Congress will be ‘wiped out’ in the state.
However, some observers feel, it is unlikely that the BJP will be able to make the best of the ‘Modi wave’ in the second phase of polls.
” Contrary to what the NDTV opinion poll says, it will be the Congress and not the BJP which will benefit the most out of the anti-incumbency and rebel factors that threaten to undermine the ruling party in the second phase, for the simple reason that the BJP does not have the organisational infrastructure or apparatus in the coastal belt to reap the advantage,” conceded a senior BJP leader.
According to him, the Congress which is in a shambles and appears ‘rudderless and headless’ now, may be the beneficiary- by default- of the new political equation in Odisha, which has been drastically altered by the Modi factor as well as the lack of clarity in BJD’s projections about its role in national politics post polls.