Twin polls in Orissa April 16, 23

March 2nd, 2009 - 9:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyBhubaneswar, March 2 (IANS) Orissa will go to the polls over two phases April 16 and April 23 to elect 147 members to the state legislative assembly and 21 members to the Lok Sabha.
Voting for 10 Lok Sabha seats and 70 assembly seats, located mostly in the western and southern districts of the state, will be held in the first phase and the rest in the second phase.

“We expected this announcement. We are prepared,” state president of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Suresh Pujari, said.

“The Congress party has already launched its poll preparation 25 days ago,” Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra, one of the working presidents of state Congress, the main opposition party, in Orissa, said.

“Tomorrow (Tuesday) all India general secretary of Congress party Ghulam Nabi Azad is visiting here for two days to discuss the poll strategy,” he said.

The Congress party has not yet announced if it will go to the polls alone or if it will have an alliance with any other party.

The ruling coalition of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and BJP have also not announced their seat sharing arrangement yet.

“I expect the BJD, with the blessing of our people will do well,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told reporters here after the declaration of poll dates.

Replying to a question on the seat sharing arrangement with BJP, Patnaik said: “The discussions are on. It is premature to make any comments,”

The BJD and BJP jointly fought the Lok Sabha polls in 1998, 1999 and 2004 and the assembly elections of 2000 and 2004. In both assembly polls, the BJP contested 63 seats and BJD 84. In the general elections, the BJP contested nine seats and BJD 12.

The leaders of the BJD have said in the past they now want to contest in more seats - both in the assembly and Lok Sabha - because their presence has increased in those constituencies.

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