"Indo-Asian News Service "
By Jatindra Dash

Bhubaneswar, May 17 - Odisha's ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) won a landslide victory in both the assembly and Lok Sabha polls, riding a wave in favour of its party chief and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

The party candidates have already won 108 of the state's 147 assembly seats and are leading in 9 others while it has won 12 out of state's 21 Lok Sabha seats and leading in eight others, officials said Saturday.

Naveen Patnaik, set for a fourth straight term as the chief minister, won the election from Hinjili assembly seat in Gajjam district by defeating his rival Sibaram Patra of the Congress by 76,586 votes, they said.

Most of his council of ministers and members of the outgoing Lok Sabha who contested the elections have also won.

Among the prominent who retained their Lok Sabha seats are Tathagata Satapaty, Sidhant Mohapatra, Prasanna Kumar Patsani, Bhartruhari Mahatab, Baijayant Panda, and Pinaki Mishra.

Congress candidate and former chief minister Giridhar Gomang and union minister in the outgoing government Srikanta Jena lost the in Koraput and Balasore Lok Sabha constituencies respectively.

State Congress president Jayadev Jena has lost the Anandpur assembly seat while Bharatiya Janata Party state president K.V. Singh Deo won the Patnagarh assembly seat.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik termed the spectacular performance of BJD as a victory of the people in the state.

Speaking to reporters, Patnaik said, This is the victory of people of Odisha. We must humbly accept that. We will make all out efforts to continue our good work for our state, he added.

Development programmes, welfare schemes, anti-poverty programme, works for tribal people who constitute a quarter of our population and the transparent and clean government given to Odisha have all contributed to the BJD doing so well, Patnaik said.

The opposition Congress and BJP on the other hand conceded their defeat in the state.

We accept the mandate of the people in all humility, said state Congress President Jayadeb Jena who himself has lost the election. We have accepted the verdict of the people BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma said.

The BJD won 103 seats in the 147-member assembly in 2009 elections, leaving behind the Congress and BJP with only 27 and six seats respectively.

According to the officials the Congress has won 13 assembly seats in the latest election and was leading in three others while the BJP has managed to wrest 10 seats.

Indo-Asian News Service

JD/vr


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