21 January 2019
Bhubaneswar: With the Lok Sabha polls and assembly elections knocking on the door, speculations about who will be the Chief Ministers in the States and who will be the Prime Minister of the country have started doing the rounds. While ambiguity prevails over the fate of many political leaders, it is pretty clear that BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik is all set to seek a fifth term as Chief Minister here in Odisha.
As many as 21 Lok Sabha seats are up for grabs in Odisha where the Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal has an iron grip on power, according to a recent survey by leading newspaper Deccan Herald. Along with the Lok Sabha election, Patnaik will also seek a fifth term as chief minister as Assembly polls are held simultaneously, revealed the survey.
While Congress and BJP have been pushed to the sidelines of Odisha’s political spectrum, Patnaik has managed to keep his image intact despite several BJD leaders’ involvement in corruption cases, the survey has analyzed.
In 2014, the BJD had won 20 of the 21 Lok Sabha seats resisting the Modi wave across the country. However the survey says that Patnaik may not be able to repeat the same performance but would continue to be the leader of the state with some reduced strength.
The study also concludes that the speculations about Prime Minister Narendra Modi contesting from Puri seat is expected to have a limited impact and the BJD, that has been equidistant from both the BJP and the Congress, may align with the former if the need arises.
Odisha’s neighbor West Bengal will also have a similar impact as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s popularity continues as it was. In Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, Congress will reign power, the survey further reveals. In all probability, 2019 Lok Sabha polls will result in a hung house with Congress and its allies becoming largest block and getting 180-200 seats. NDA and its allies will be reduced to maximum of 175 seats and “Others” will become the key for the formation of next government, the study concludes.