Odisha municipal poll results: What this win means for Naveen Patnaik's BJD

Published on Mar 26, 2022 08:35 PM IST

The Biju Janata Dal had also won the recently-concluded panchayat elections, winning 766 of 852 seats and forming zilla parishads in all the districts.

Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik flashes victory sign after his party Biju Janata Dal swept the urban local body polls(HT Photo)
Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik flashes victory sign after his party Biju Janata Dal swept the urban local body polls(HT Photo)

The Odisha municipal body elections witnessed a landslide victory for Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal, winning 76 out of 108 municipalities and notified area councils. The Bharatiya Janata Party, which is the principal opposition party in the state, could win just 16 urban local body councils. 

The ruling party's domination was complete across the length and breadth of the coastal state, before the Assembly polls which will be held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections in 2024. Let's decode what the victory means for the BJD which has been ruling the state for the past 22 years. 

Dominance across rural and urban belts

The Biju Janata Dal's victory in the urban local body polls comes just days after it stamped its authority in the panchayat polls. The party had won the three-tier polls, bagging 766 of 852 seats. It formed zilla parishad in all the 30 districts of the state. 

In the urban local body polls, the BJD won 76 councils of 108. It managed to grab the mayor post in all Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Berhampur municipal corporations. 

Boost to pro-women schemes

Naveen Patnaik has been known for his development schemes and policies for women. He was hailed for his Mission Shakti Programme which started the formation of self help groups to organising women into groups to empower them. The chief minister in 2021 relaunched the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana to offer ten lakh rupees cover to every women in the family. 

In the panchayat polls held recently, the BJD formed zilla parishads in all districts. What's more important was that 70 per cent of the presidents in these panchayati raj institutions were women. 

Patnaik's leadership unchallenged

When Odisha goes to polls in 2024, Naveen Patnaik will be eyeing a record sixth straight term as the chief minister. Although the Bharatiya Janata Party made impressive gains, still it couldn't dent the BJD juggernaut across the state in the local body polls. With the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and the assembly polls just two years away, the poll victory has given much boost to both the BJD and its towering leader. 

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