Statesman News Service
Bhubaneswar/Baripada, 7 February
The ruling BJD continued its winning streak by sweeping the Baripada municipal polls and registering a impressive victory in the prestigious Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) elections, results to which were declared today.
The Congress and BJP were trounced in both the civic bodies with the Congress drawing a blank at Baripada and just 9 of the 58 seats to which results were declared in the CMC polls. The BJP which had hoped to do well in Cuttack got only 3 seats and in Baripada it got only one.
Ruling BJD which had earlier swept the urban local body elections across the state by indulging in a high voltage campaign led by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik succeeded yet again. Ministers, legislators , cine actors and sportspersons were all roped during the campaign.
The CMC polls was considered to be a prestige issue for all the three major political parties. The Congress and BJP which had received a drubbing elsewhere in the state was desperate for political survival at Cuttack while the BJP with a former minister and former mayor belonging to the city had also hoped to do well.
But the final count showed that neither the Congress nor the BJP had impressed the voters. The BJD got 36 of the 58 wards while the Congress got 9 and the BJP only 3.
The presence of smaller parties like the Odisha Jan Morcha led by Pyarimohan Mahapatra and candidates backed by Ama Odisha Party led by Soumya Ranjan Patnaik or the Utkal Bharat failed to make any significant dent to the ruling BJD.
As many as 10 Independent candidates won at Cuttack while at Baripada six Independents emerged victorious.
Reports from Baripada said that the BJD bagged 21-ward in the 28 ward civic body, BJP got one and six went in favour of Independents. Three of the six independents are said to be JMM sponsored candidates.
District Congress president Dinakrushna Mohanty alleged that the BJD had won on the basis of false promises and money power.
JMM state leader Sudam Marandi said he was satisfied with the result saying party backed Independents had won. We had decided not to field party candidates and it worked , he claimed.