Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan expressed strong confidence in the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) electoral prospects in Odisha for the upcoming 2024 general elections. Speaking at a program organized by Aaj Tak in New Delhi, Pradhan asserted that the BJP is poised to win at least 15 Lok Sabha seats in the state, accompanied by a projected vote share exceeding 45 percent.
BJP’s Growing Popularity in Odisha:
According to Pradhan, the BJP’s popularity in Odisha has been steadily increasing. He highlighted the party’s rise from a 22 percent vote share in the 2014 general elections to 38 percent in the 2019 elections, securing eight Lok Sabha seats. The minister attributed this growth to the increasing popularity of both the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the state.
Electoral History in Odisha:
Odisha, with its 21 Lok Sabha constituencies, has been a battleground for political parties. In the 2019 general elections, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) won 12 seats, while the BJP secured eight seats, and the Congress managed to gain only one. Pradhan’s optimistic projection for the BJP aims to significantly increase the party’s footprint in the state.
Confidence in 2024 Elections:
Expressing confidence in the BJP’s performance in the 2024 elections, Pradhan emphasized Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s impressive 80 percent approval rating in Odisha. He further noted a consistent increase in the party’s vote share in the Assembly elections, setting the stage for a formidable performance in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
However, Pradhan’s claims faced skepticism from the opposition, particularly the BJD and the Congress. BJD leader Amar Prasad Satpathy dismissed the assertions, stating that the party’s mandate and vote base, under the leadership of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, have remained intact and are, in fact, growing. Satpathy credited the clean and transparent leadership of Patnaik for the increasing approval of the party’s plans and programs.
Former Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president, Jaydev Jena, took a more sarcastic tone, suggesting that Pradhan’s optimism may be misplaced. Jena pointed to the recent Assembly elections in three states where the BJP formed governments but faced challenges over chief ministerial posts, emphasizing that the Union Minister may not have thoroughly analyzed the post-poll dynamics.
As political dynamics in Odisha evolve, the BJP, led by Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, is gearing up for a significant electoral push in the 2024 general elections. While the party expresses confidence in its rising popularity, the opposition remains critical, setting the stage for an intense political battle in the state. The electoral landscape in Odisha will undoubtedly unfold with intrigue as the nation approaches the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.