Even after 13 years in office, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik still remains the most favoured politician to be the state’s chief minister, an opinion poll by local Odia news channel Odisha Television (OTV) has claimed.
The findings of the opinion poll, conducted in collaboration with reputed research agency Nielson, were broadcast on the evening on Thursday.
The same day the ruling Biju Janata Dal performed poorly in the elections for three newly formed notified area councils (NACs) in Dhenkanal, Bargarh and Nuapada districts – its first poll setback since it came to power in 2000 – allowing the state’s main opposition Congress to regain some lost ground.
According to the OTV-Nielson opinion poll, 69% of the respondents felt the Biju Janata Dal supremo was best suited for the job of the chief minister. On the other hand, Odisha Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik and senior BJP leader Jual Oram got just 9% and 4% of respondents’ approval respectively.
According to the poll, the three main achievements of the Naveen Patnaik led BJD government are providing Rs. 2 per kg rice to poor (35%), improvement of roads (23%) and availability of clean drinking water (18%). Respondents rated corruption (28%), unemployment (15%) and Naxal problem (14%) as three failures of the government.
Having a sample size of 4196 covering 42 assembly constituencies, the opinion poll covered 2954 men and 1251 women. Of the total respondents, 3663 were from rural areas.
The Congress and BJP dismissed the opinion poll an exercise by a “BJD owned channel” to salvage Patnaik’s declining popularity. OTV, owned by BJD MP Baijayant Panda’s family, is the most popular Odia news channel in the state.