NATIONAL

Cong. does well in local polls

BHUBANESWAR SEPT. 21. The elections to the 96 urban local bodies in Orissa has thrown up a fractured verdict with all the three major parties, the Biju Janata Dal, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party, failing to shine at the hustings.

Out of the 1,624 wards for which elections were held on Friday, the BJD bagged 530 seats, the Congress 502 and the BJP 334 seats.

The BJD secured a majority in 24 urban bodies, the Congress in 19 and the BJP in seven.

As regards the other parties, the Orissa Gana Parishad won in 20 wards, the Janata Dal(S) in 13, the CPI in six, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha in five and the CPI(M) and the CPI(M-L) in one ward each. Independents won in 212 wards.

The poll outcome has made it clear that the BJD and the BJP, which are running a coalition Government in the State, will have to stay together if they want to keep the Congress out of power in the State. The two parties had fought the elections separately.

The Congress, on the other hand, has done well in the polls despite serious infighting at the State level. If all senior leaders of the party join hands, the BJD-BJP alliance is likely to have a tough time in the future polls.

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