Odisha reposes its faith in Naveen Patnaik, gives him his fifth term as CM

Written by SabrangIndia | Published on: May 24, 2019
Bhubaneshwar: Biju Janata Dal’s (BJD) supremo, Naveen Patnaik, has once again managed to retain his power in the eastern state of Odisha, this being his fifth consecutive term! The 72-year old Patnaik has been one of India’s longest serving chief ministers (CM).

Naveen patnaik

In the 2019 assembly elections, the BJD has managed to win/lead in  112 of the 146 seats with a vote share of 44.7%. Notably, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a former ally of BJD, succeeded in making inroads in the coastal state, thereby defeating the Indian National Congress (INC) as the second largest party. BJP, with a vote share of 32.5% and leading in 23 seats, will now be the opposition party. INC, which has been the main opposition party in Odisha until 2019, has seen one of its worst performance ever! With a vote share of just 16.1%, INC won only 9 of the 146 seats!

In 2014, the Congress was the main opposition, winning 16 seats. The BJP was placed third with 10 seats.

With the Modi-wave spread across the nation, there were speculations that Patnaik led BJD may face an anti-incumbency this time, but, this proved to be wrong. However, BJD’s performance has fallen compared to its previous terms which has proven to be beneficial for BJP, pushing Congress in the third place.

In his political career as Odisha’s CM, Patnaik, for the first time, contested from two seats- Hinjili, his home turf in south Odisha from where he has been winning since 2000, and Bijepur, in west Odisha.

Much of the BJD’s campaign was based on the popularity of Patnaik, who has launched multiple development schemes including pre-poll subsidy for farmers.

He has even enhanced the financial support to women, elderly and the poor through various welfare schemes and through direct grassroots engagement programmes like Peetha, Biju Yuva Vahini and Kalia. This came especially after BJP had a surprising gain in February, 2017 rural polls.

The people of Odisha have once again reposed their faith in Patnaik, after having him at the helm for 20 years.