Landslide victory for Patnaik in Orissa (Fourth Lead)

May 16th, 2009 - 9:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Bhubaneswar, May 16 (IANS) Orissa’s Biju Janata Dal (BJD) of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Saturday scored a landslide victory securing over 100 seats in the 147-member assembly.
The BJD rivals - the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - came distant second and third respectively.

As per the results declared till Saturday evening for 134 assembly constituencies, the BJD got 101, the Congress 21 and the BJP just four.

As counting of votes for the state’s Lok Sabha constituencies was still underway Saturday, the BJD had won 13 out of the 15 results declared till 7 p.m.

BJD’s poll partner, the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Congress have won one seat each.

The BJD is also leading in many of the Lok Sabha and assembly constituencies for which the results are yet to be declared.

The chief minister attributed the victory to the people of the state.

“I thank the people of my state. I am grateful. I feel humbled and generous,” a smiling Naveen Patnaik told reporters.

He said his party re-emerged victorious because of the pro-poor programme and schemes the state government had undertaken. He said he will work for peace and harmony in the communally-sensitive state.

The sweeping victory came as a surprise particularly after Patnaik suddenly split from his 11-year-old political ally, the BJP, in March over seat sharing arrangement. The BJD-BJP combine, which broke a month ahead of the elections, had ruled the state for two consecutive terms.

But Patnaik’s gamble of going alone paid dividends. It was in 1990 that his father Biju Patnaik swept the poll by wining as many as 123 seats.

“I had said much earlier that the BJD will get 100 seats but at that time everybody laughed. Our own leaders were unsure,” Pyarimohan Mohapatra, the BJD’s main strategist, told reporters.

“I was sure of the result because of our strength. We began our preparation three years ago and gradually increased our presence in all the areas where we were weak,” he said.

As the results came in, hundreds of BJD workers rushed to Naveen Nivas, the official residence of the chief minister, and greeted him with flowers.

But the Congress and BJP offices wore a deserted look with most of its leaders preferring to stay home.

Prominent BJP leaders who lost are former state ministers Samir Dey from Cuttack assembly seat and Biswabhusan Harichandan from Bhubaneswar.

Dharmendra Pradhan, who was a member of the outgoing Lok Sabha, was defeated in Pallahada assembly constituency.

Union agriculture minister and Congress leader Chandra Sekhar Sahu lost from Berhampur Lok Sabha seat.

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