The ruling BJD has swept the elections to rural bodies establishing control over Zilla Parishads in 26 of the 30 districts in the state, official sources said in Bhubaneswar on Friday.
In a landslide victory, the ruling regional party headed by chief minister Naveen Patnaik has grabbed a lion's share of 651 Zilla Parishad seats, according to data obtained from the districts by the State Election Commission.
Both Congress and BJP were made to bite the dust as they bagged 128 and 36 seats respectively out of the 851 zilla parishad zones for which elections were held in five phases between February 11 and 19, SEC officials said.
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) won eleven seats, CPI two and CPI-M got one, while Independent candidates emerged victorious in 22 zilla parishad seats, they said.
Though here are a total of 854 zilla parishad zones in the state, elections were held in 851.
Elections could not be held for three seats in Kashipur block of Rayagada district as all the candidates withdrew their nominations over the demand for Scheduled Tribe status to the local Jhodia community, SES officials said.
Election to zilla parishad president and vice-president posts is scheduled to be held on March 13 and March 24 respectively, they said.