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BJP Suffers in Odisha Urban Polls

The Odisha unit of the BJP which banked heavily on the party's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, emerged as the worst sufferer among the major political parties in the Urban Local Bodies (ULB) elections, results of which were announced yesterday.

The saffron party which had formed councils in 11 ULBs last time in 2008, could manage to become single largest party at one ULB at Rairangpur in Mayurbhanj district. However, the party has to depend on others to form council at Rairangpur.

Though the BJP state leadership including its president K V Singhdeo was hopeful that announcement of Narendra Modi's name in middle of the electioneering for the ULB elections would help the party candidates to win certain seats, all calculations have virtually failed.

However, the results released by the State Election Commission (SEC) said that the BJP candidates could win only in 47 of the total 1121 wards under 66 ULBs where elections were held on September 19. Of the 66 ULBs, the BJP candidates also failed to open account in about 40 bodies.

The party candidates could capture many ULBs last time in 2008 as the BJP was in electoral alliance with the ruling BJD, pointed out a senior leader, adding that the party's performance in subsequent elections for state assembly in 2009 and panchayat polls were bad after breaking of the alliance.

Modi visited the state during annual Rath Jatra in July this year. He visited Jagannath Temple at Puri.

In Puri Municipality, Modi's BJP candidates could win only in 2 of the total 32 wards. BJD candidates won in 22 wards followed by Congress's two wards. Independents captured four wards in Puri Municipality.

Chief Minister Patnaik had stated that Modi did not have a pan-Indian acceptance.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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