Even though the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) retained the top position in the recently concluded panchayat polls in Odisha, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has taken a giant stride forward, while the faction-ridden Congress party got decimated.
The BJD has emerged victorious in 473 Zila Parishad (ZP) zones, out of 846 zones, the results of which were declared by the State Election Commission on Sunday.
However, the BJD has ceded about 178 seats in the panchayat elections compared to 2012 polls as the opposition BJP made inroads in the bastions of the ruling party. BJD had won an incredible 651 out of the total of 853 seats last time.
The BJP, which had won just 36 seats in the 2012 panchayat polls, put up an impressive show by winning 297 seats in the recently concluded polls, said the SEC.
The Congress, which had won 128 zones last time, has been relegated to the third spot. It managed to get only 60 seats this time. Surprisingly, the party could not secure a single seat in 16 out of the 30 districts in the state.
On the other hand, the Independents and candidates from other parties have managed to pocket 16 zones.
Of 853 ZP zones, elections were held for 849 ZP zones while results of 846 were declared on Sunday. The results of three other zones, one each from Cuttack, Bolangir and Ganjam district, have been put on hold for various reasons.
The election could not be held for four zones in three districts due to various reasons, said the SEC.
The panchayat polls were held in five phases between February 13 and 21.