BJP surge continues in second phase panchayat polls

Bhubaneswar: The BJP maintained its winning streak in the second phase of panchayat elections, virtually sending the ruling BJD for cover.

The saffron juggernaut has made a massive inroad into BJD strongholds and stunned the ruling party.

According to the unofficial assessment, while BJD has won 94 seats out of 175 zila parishad seats that went to polls on Wednesday, the BJP emerged victorious in 61 seats. The Congress party was relegated to third position in the panchayat polls. It managed to secure only 16 seats.

The saffron party swept all zilla parishad seats in Kalahandi district. The BJD is yet to open its account in the district where it had won 28 seats in 2012 elections.

Though the ruling party maintains its lead in the second round of the five-phase panchayat elections, it had lost heavily in districts like Balangir, Mayurbhanj, Angul, Bargarh and Sambalpur.

The BJP won 71 of the 188 zilla parishad seats that went to polls in the first phase of voting held on Monday. It’s a 10-fold jump compared to seven seats that the party had won in 2012. The BJD has won 103 seats.

The elections for 854 ZP seats are being held in five phases ending February 21.