19 March 2019
Bhubaneswar: Self-effacing, non-controversial, dextrous and the legacy, to a rare coincidence, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has got all the above boxes ticked.
It was because of the towering personality of Naveen, Odisha withstood the Narendra Modi wave in 2014 and 2019 is not going to be much different, a pre-poll survey conducted by Poll Eyes Survey reveals.
Bouyed by Modi's back-to-back visits, while the saffron party is anticipating major gains in Odisha, Naveen remains unfazed.
He recently announced that the BJD would allot 33 percent of the tickets in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections to women. This policy was reflected in the BJD’s first list of candidates released by Patnaik on Monday, 18 March. Out of nine candidates, three are women.
Since Naveen has changed a large number of candidates, including sitting MPs and MLAs, many say that it indicates confidence in his party’s prospects. This confidence isn’t misplaced if the Poll Eyes survey is anything to go by.
According to the survey, BJD could win 18 out of the state’s 21 Lok Sabha constituencies.
The survey says that the BJD could secure around 50 percent votes in the state – a lead of 25 percent over the BJP.
The BJD’s lead is particularly strong in constituencies like Jagatsinghpur, Berhampur, Cuttack and Kandhamal. Naveen has decided to contest from a second constituency – Bijepur – which falls in the Bargarh Lok Sabha seat. This is clearly an attempt to preserve the BJD’s vote share in western Odisha.
Naveen seems all set to return to power in the Assembly elections as well as win a sizeable number of seats in the Lok Sabha. However, for that he would need to contain the harm that defections and a possible consolidation of anti-BJD votes could cause, the survey noted.
(Survey methodology: The survey was conducted in February in all Assembly segments across 10 states. 50 respondents were interviewed at different locations in each Assembly segment, using random stratified sampling.)