| BJD supporters celebrate the party’s spectacular performance in both the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Bhubaneswar on Friday. Picture by Ashwinee Pati |
The BJD, which won for the fourth consecutive terms, today congratulated Narendra Modi for his party’s nation-wide success and hoped that the new dispensation at the Centre would extend its support to Odisha, so that the state could be on par with the advanced ones.
Though BJD president Naveen Patnaik was reluctant to comment on Modi’s spectacular performance, he said: “They seemed to have done well in the Parliament. I do congratulate them.”
However, his close confidant and party vice-president Kalpataru Das congratulated Modi. “At the same time, we hope that there would be a change of mindset of the new government at the Centre towards Odisha. We expect support and co-operation from the Centre,” he said.
Naveen attributed the party’s success to the developments undertaken by his government. “People have again reposed their faith on the BJD, which is committed for the overall development of the state and protect the Odia pride,” he said, adding that his government would continue its “good works”.
The Congress, the main Opposition party in the state, on the other hand, accepted the mandate. Party’s poll campaign committee chairman Srikant Jena said: “We accept the verdict of the people with all humility.” Pradesh Congress Committee president Jaydev Jena owned moral responsibility for the party’s poor performance.
In 2009, the BJP had bagged six Assembly seats, but could not win a single Lok Sabha seat. BJP state president K.V. Singh Deo said: “The results have not been up to the mark. But, we have performed better this time. Last time, we were No. 2 in only one Lok Sabha constituency. This time, we will win more than one and remain No. 2 in seven seats. In the Assembly, we will bag 10 to 12 seats and secure second position in 40 to 45 seats.”
The Left parties, which were allies of the BJD last time, were disappointed with the results. CPM state secretary Janardan Pati said: “The people gave their mandate in favour of Naveen as they could not find a viable alternative. Congress could not play its role as it was split into various factions before the polls. The Left was not organised and united and they could not match with BJD’s money and muscle power.”
CPI’s Dibakar Nayak said the Opposition had become weaker. “In the democracy, when Opposition grows weaker, the ruling party turns dictatorial and arbitrary,” he said. Explaining the reason of the Left’s debacle, Nayak said: “We could not fight due to our limited resources.” In 2009, the CPI had won one Lok Sabha seat (Jagatsinghpur) and one Assembly seat (Chhatrapur). But this time, it drew blank.