Congress wins 10, Independents 2; BJP fails to impress; no party secures clear majority in 12 ULBs

The ruling Biju Janata Dal headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has performed well in the elections held in the 66 urban local bodies in the State though it suffered setbacks in some of its strongholds.

Of the 65 urban local bodies for which results were announced after counting of the votes on Friday, the BJD secured a majority in as many as 41 ULBs, while opposition Congress won a majority in 10 civic bodies, and Independents managed to win in a majority of wards in two ULBs.

No clear majority was secured by any party or independent candidates in as many as 12 ULBs, according to State Election Commissioner Ajit Kumar Tripathy.

Out of the total number of 1121 wards the results of which were announced by the State Election Commission, BJD bagged 642, while Congress won 318, BJP 47, Independents 101and others 10.

The Bharatiya Janata Party failed to secure a majority in any of the 65 ULBs as it fared badly in the polls. It only managed to win seven of the total 15 wards in Rairangpur Notified Area Council in Mayurbhanj district.

The results of the Vyasanagar Municipality in Jajpur district will be known on Saturday.

Polling was conducted in two booths there on Friday as non-functioning of the voting machines had led to postponement of polling on Thursday.

The BJD achieved success despite the party chief fighting the polls without his one-time trusted lieutenant Pyarimohan Mohapatra who had since formed a regional political outfit. Mr. Patnaik had not only deployed his Ministers and legislators in different urban local bodies to oversee the campaign, he had extensively used helicopter to address public meetings in a majority of civic bodies seeking support for his party nominees.

The hard work of Mr. Patnaik and his party colleagues paid dividends and the party managed to come out successful in a majority of ULBs. Though the BJD managed to maintain its hold in the Berhampur Municipal Corporation by bagging 24 of the 40 seats, it lost the election in coastal Jagatsinghpur Municipality. The BJD won nine of the 21 wards in Jagatsinghpur, while the Congress nominees won in 12 wards. The party also lost the polls in the Nayagarh and Pipili notified area councils.

As regards the Congress, the party managed to perform well in many ULBs under the leadership of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Jayadev Jena, who had been facing non-cooperation from several of the senior leaders of his party since his recent appointment as PCC chief. The party had done much better than the 2008 civic polls, Mr. Jena said.

BJP State unit president Kanak Vardhan Singh Deo admitted that the party had not performed as was expected by them. He also blamed the BJD for winning the polls by using money and muscle power, and using the administration in a wrong manner.