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Panchayat polls: A setback likely for BJD

first_imgAt the end of the fifth and last phase of panchayat polls on Tuesday, it became clear that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal has lost its supremacy in rural Odisha, suffering a severe jolt in the western region.In its fourth consecutive term in power, the BJD has for the first time faced serious challenge not from the Congress but from its one-time ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party. The shock to the ruling party has come while it was trying to strengthen its position by celebrating the birth centenary of late Biju Patnaik after whom the party has been named.Before enforcement of the model code of conduct, Mr. Patnaik had visited almost all the districts, announcing new schemes and laying foundation stones for new projects in an attempt to beat anti-incumbency. A number people from rival parties as well as popular actors were inducted into the BJD to exhibit the party’s growing popularity in the run-up to the polls.The ruling BJD had also tried to whip up popular sentiments by raising the Mahanadi water dispute with Chhattisgarh by organising protests and Jal Satyagraha.Although the results of the rural polls have not been formally announced, going by reports reaching the Capital city, it appears that the BJD had lost ground in over 100 Zilla Parishad constituencies. Top BJD leaders too have failed to prevent the BJP from winning in their strongholds. It seems that Mr. Patnaik’s pre-poll announcements and public mobilisation on the Mahanadi issue had had little impact on voters. The BJP, on the other hand, achieved spectacular success by intensifying its campaign when the BJD was bugged by anti-incumbency, and the Congress, the main opposition in State Assembly, remained a divided house.The saffron party is likely to cross the 300 mark by increasing its strength from a measly 36 of the total 851 Zilla Parishad seats in the last panchayat polls in 2012.The BJP has not only achieved substantial electoral gains in the western region of the State by defeating both the BJD and the Congress nominees, it has also been able to make inroads into the coastal region where the BJD was strong all these years.The BJD, which won 651 seats in 2012, is set to get restricted to 400-odd seats with the Congress suffering a major setback. The party, which has been pushed to the third position by the BJP, is set to win 50-odd seats this time as against 128 five years ago. Though the trend was not clear in all 30 districts, the BJD is likely to form Zilla Parishad in at least 14 districts, the BJP in eight and the Congress in two districts as happened in 2012. The BJP had not been able to form council in any district last time.The interior districts where the BJP performed unexpectedly well this time include Kalahandi, Balangir, Sambalpur, Deogarh, Malkangiri and Mayurbhanj. The party had strong presence in these areas during its nine-year-long partnership in the State government from 2000 to 2009.Voter turnout The final results will be declared by the State Election Commission on February 25. The initial outcome, however, have left the BJD shocked, the BJP euphoric and the Congress depressed. All these parties have already started contemplating about adopting new strategy to regain lost ground and consolidate their position in future polls. The highest voter turnout of 77% was recorded in the last phase of the polls on Tuesday, surpassing the turnout in the previous four phases. Giving details of the fifth phase polling held in 150 Zilla Parishad seats spread over 26 of the total 30 districts, the Election Commission said Subarnapur district recorded the highest turnout at 88% and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s home district Ganjam saw the lowest at 67%.The results of the elections for the posts of sarpanches and ward members, and results for panchayat samity members and Zilla Parishad members will be announced on February 23 and 25 respectively by the Block Development Officers-cum-Election Officers.last_img read more

Blue Eaglets seal 14-game sweep, enter UAAP Finals

first_imgLATEST STORIES 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting SJ Belangel. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOSJ Belangel took charge when it mattered most to lift Ateneo over Nazareth-National University, 78-68, for a 14-0 sweep in the UAAP Season 80 juniors basketball tournament Sunday at Blue Eagle Gym in Katipunan, Quezon City.The 19-year-old point guard fired 12 points in the last three minutes as the Blue Eaglets held off a late fight-back by the Bullpups.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Lady Bulldogs zoom to 3rd straight win UP wound up at 3-11.FEU, UST tracksters reignIn athletics, FEU and UST continued their dominance on the track after defending their titles also on Sunday at Philsports oval.The Tamaraws won their eighth straight men’s division title while UST’s Lady Tracksters ruled the women’s division for the fourth straight year.FEU’s Clinton Bautista—who won six gold medals and the Most Valuable Player award—ended his collegiate career with a league record of 13.31 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles. —RANDOLPH B. LEONGSON, BONG LOZADA, INQUIRER.NET Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Read Next Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC University of Santo Tomas stayed in the semifinals hunt after taking down defending champion and third-running Far Eastern U-Diliman, 64-62, while Adamson beat De La Salle-Zobel, 75-51.FEU dropped to 8-6 while DLSZ fell to 4-10.Finishing the elimination round with similar 7-7 slates, UST and Adamson will dispute the last Final Four spot.MVP pacesetter CJ Cansino didn’t want his final year to end with a whimper, collecting 26 points, nine rebounds, and five assists for UST.University of the East also stunned UP Integrated School, 94-85, to finish at 2-12.ADVERTISEMENT AFP official booed out of forum John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding View comments Belangel finished with 31 points, seven rebounds and three steals to carry Ateneo to an outright Finals berth.Dave Ildefonso chipped in 16 points and six boards, while Kai Sotto posted a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds on top of three blocks.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutMiguel Oczon had 17 points for NU.The Bullpups remained in second place with an 11-3 record and will have a twice-to-beat advantage in the stepladder semifinals.last_img read more