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Odisha may have a hung Assembly post results
Although the elections in Odisha completed on 17th April 2014, the speculation on the possible results are on a high scale. Just after the election, BJD asserted to secure around 105 seats out of 147 seats. However gradually their calculation of tally lowered and someday ago, they were started telling that they would achieve at least a simple majority (74 seats). For last one week none from BJD has any claim, rather all are in a silent mode doubting whether they will even achieve a simple majority.
There are also some issues that put BJD in serious worries. First is the voter’s turn out. Post formation of Odisha as a special state, there were only three occasions, when the voter turnout was more than 70%. In 1937, under British rule, the voter’s turnout was 96%. That time there were very limited voters who had the voting right and interestingly 46% votes were invalid too.

Anyway, post independent there were more than 70% voting during 1995. Biju Patnaik led Janta Dal government lost the election quite unexpectedly. The Congress formed the government by winning 80 seats. Even the Congress never expected forming the government.

Post election introspection revealed that Biju Patnaik did a blunder in not allying with left parties (Left were ally with Janta Dal during 1990). Thus the Left had taken away around 3% of votes from Janta Dal. BJP was also rising that time and got around 8%. The more voting turn out went into the favor of BJP and suddenly Janta Dal reduced to 46 seats only. The allegation was that Janta Dal and Biju Patnaik harped on Biju Babu’s popularity only and they were complacent on the ground.

Similar situation is in this election too. Naveen Patnaik broke alliance with the Left front and gone alone. He has alliance with the Left party in 2009. This time also voter turn out crossed 70% and BJP votes were in an upswing. I wouldn’t say BJD was complacent at the ground this time, but would definitely say, that BJD lacked strategy and strategist. One can refer to my article ‘Shouldn’t Navin Patnaik start worrying about upcoming general and assembly election’ published on 13th February 2014 on this platform, where I unearthed lack of strategy and strategists in the party made them to face lose of one Rajya Sabha seat.

In the assembly elections too, BJD totally depended on Naveen Patnaik’s popularity and his rallies. No field strategy was visible. Rather, one would astonish to see two Rajya Sabha members contesting assembly elections. Most ridiculous is A.U. Singh Deo won the Rajya Sabha election of February 2014, but instead of taking oath at Rajya Sabha he again contested assembly election!

Many candidates too were not happy because of their transfer from their constituency to other constituency. Apart from the above, long time enjoying power has its own disadvantage. The insiders too may did some damage for selfish interest. Thus none is sure as to what would be the result.

According to me, BJP doesn’t has a strong organization to get majority in Odisha. Thus despite Modi's wave, the party has no chance to get majority. On the other hand the Congress too became very weak, although its core vote bank remains intact. Thus Congress too is not in a position to get simple majority like it got during 1995. The additional votes including some of BJD votes had gone only to BJP. Thus no doubt BJD would be the largest party in Odisha assembly, but yes I wouldn’t be surprised if there would be a hung verdict in Odisha!


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