The historic general elections 2014 are coming to an end and everyone is now waiting for the results on the May 16th. In Odisha, the elections for the 21 Lok Sabha seats and 147 assembly seats happened simultaneously. The two phase elections in the state ended on April 17th with almost a month to go for the result day. This election is important for Odisha as the incumbent Chief Minister Naveen Pattnaik is seeking mandate for a record fourth term in the office. There are intense speculations going on among many whether BJD can repeat its magic in the elections and how will national parties like BJP and Congress will fare.
Being a political enthusiast from Odisha, I conducted a constituency wise research and tried to understand the political current in each of the 21 LS constituency. Based on that research, I have tried to predict the outcome the results in these seats. At this point I should make it clear that these are not based on any sample surveys and no statistical tool has been used. The research is based on my understanding of Odisha politics. I have already posted this on twitter & facebook on April 17th, 6 pm itself. Sharing the seat projections again on this blog to properly document the projection with detailed explanation.
Before I get to the constituency wise prediction, here are my five major observations about the Odisha elections 2014.
1. Historically, people of Odisha do not vote on the basis of caste or religion. But personality and charisma of a leader influences voting pattern very much. That explains why the people of Odisha are smitten by the Naveen Pattnaik phenomenon for last 14 years.
2. People want Odisha to have a larger voice at the national stage. Many people (especially in urban areas) are of of the view that by not aligning with any major political formation at the center, BJD has failed to bring big opportunities for Odisha in last 5 years. There’s a definite drop in the BJD’s popularity ratings when compared to 2009 when it got its best ever results.
3. Even after the BJD rule of 3 terms, there is no love lost between the 3.5 cr population of Odisha and Naveen Pattnaik. Despite the early hopes in the Congress camps of being able to corner BJD this time, factional feud ensured that state congress unit’s constant decline continues. The state of Congress in Odisha can be gauged from the very fact that the Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh joined BJD just before the elections. Delhi High Command’s mishandling of the state unit by tusting inefficient and unpopular leaders like Jayadev Jena and ignoring senior congress leaders’ opinion led to around 20 plus major leaders’ departure from the party just before the election.
4. Majority of Odias want Narendra Modi as the PM of India. However, due to the weak structure of BJP in the state, many voted for BJD owing to the TINA factor. There are also many constituencies (mostly western Odisha and some of the urban pockets in the coastal Odisha) voted for the BJP in the Lok Sabha thanks to the Modi wave, but chose BJD in their respective assembly seats.
5. The ‘Modi for Center, Naveen for state’ trend was heavily observed in case of the youth. Voters in the age group 18-30 are the most vocal supporters of Modi in Odisha. Many young voters voted for BJP without even knowing the name of the BJP candidate in their constituency. BJP has also recovered some of its party structure in its traditional base of western Odisha which it had lost to BJD during its alliance government. One can expect at least 5-10% vote swing in favor of the BJP this time.
Now let’s move towards the projections now.
Final Projection for all 21 seats
*Update (14th May):Figures of the leading Exit Polls for Odisha is as follows.
|Exit Polls||LS Seats Predictions for Odisha|
|New 24-Today’s Chanakya||12||8||1|
|India TV-C Voter||11||6||4|
|Satta Market (for BJP)||—||5||—|
Detailed explanation for each constituency is provided below.
|Bargarh||BJP||Cong||BJD is not in the race here for the LS. Many BJD loyalists (including workers) voted for BJP candidate to defeat Congress MP Sanjay Bhoi|
|Sundargarh||BJP||Cong||Sundargarh is BJP’s secure seat. Jual Oram had lost this seat by a margin of 0.5% votes last time. Long time respected leader in this area|
|Sambalpur||BJP||Cong||Modi’s rally here was a major boost in a constituency which was already leaning towards the BJP|
|Bolangir||BJD||BJD||While BJP’s Sangeeta Singhdeo is expected to do better in urban areas, the prince of the Bolangir royal family Kalikesh Singhdeo is expected to retain the seat in a tight battle.|
|Kalahandi||Cong||Cong||Kalahandi is witnessing a tough triangular fight. Congress’ Bhakta Charan Das is a veteran leader in this area with many loyal supporters. BJP’s surge riding the Modi wave will hurt BJD’s chances here|
|Nabarangpur||Cong||Cong||Maoist affected Nabarangpur shocked everyone with 82% voter turnout. Historically, a Congress bastion, Congress’ Pradeep Majhi is expected to retain the seat as the BJP’s surge is again expected to curtail the BJD hopes here|
|Kandhamal||BJP||BJD||While BJP is ahead in the G Udayagiri and Baliguda segments, BJD is strong in Phulbani and Boudh segments in this communally sensitive constituency. This is a very close battle which I believe should go in favor of the BJP|
|Aska||BJD||BJD||Considered as BJD’s fort, Aska is secured for BJD|
|Berhampur||Cong||BJD||Popular movie actor Siddhant Mohapatra shocked everyone last time by defeating veteran Congress leader Chandrasekhar Sahu. Traditionally a Congress seat (Congress has lost here only twice) will return to Sahu again as BJD’s Sidhant’s popularity has dropped due to his prolonged absence from the constituency.|
|Koraput||BJD||BJD||Another Congress bastion which was breached for the first time ever by BJD in 2009. However, Koraput is expected to repose its trust in BJD once again|
|Keonjhar||BJD||BJD||Famous for mining activities, Keonjhar, which was once a BJP seat has shifted its allegiance towards BJD lately.|
|Mayurbhanj||BJD||BJD||Sudam Marandi (previously in JMM) joining BJD will further help BJD in Mayurbhanj. One of the few constituencies where BJD may increase its victory margin compared to last time|
|Balasore||BJP||Cong||Odisha’s lone minister in the UPA-II, Srikant Jena had won Balasore last time gaining from a fierce fight between BJD and BJP. This time around, Srikant Jena has lost the trust of the local Congress cadre. He is unpopular among the common people as well. BJP’s Pratap Sarangi has an image of incorruptible and selfless social worker which is helping him. He has a connect with the grass-root which his opponent from the BJD lacks.|
|Bhadrak||BJD||BJD||The main battle is between the BJD and the Congress. The 7 time MP Arjun Charan Sethi is expected to win the seat for straight 5th time.|
|Jajpur||BJD||BJD||An interesting constituency to watch as two powerful factions of the BJD have locked horns here because of ticket distribution. A completely unknown and inexperienced candidate Rita Tarai has been fielded by the BJD as a result. However, the BJP and Congress are so weak here that BJD may get votes by default. BJP may replace Congress at the second place|
|Dhenkanal||BJP||BJD||BJP has never won Dhenkanal which has traditionally shifted between Congress and BJD (Janata Dal in past). Though BJD has repeated its 3 time MP Tathagata Satpathy, BJP’s Rudra Pany has made huge gains if ground reports are to be believed. Many Congress workers have switched allegiance and working for Pany’s win here. Though a very close call to make, I feel Modi wave will help BJP making new ground here.|
|Cuttack||BJD||BJD||4 time MP from Cuttack, Bhartruhari Mahatab of BJD who won the last election by a margin of 2.36 lakhs votes is not expected to face any opposition from Congress or BJP|
|Kendrapara||BJD||BJD||Kendrapara is considered as the fort of anti-congress politics in Odisha. Congress has never won Kendrapara since 1957. Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda, who is considered as the face of Odisha in Delhi, should win handsomely here.|
|Jagatsinghpur||BJD||CPI||BJD has left this seat to its alliance partner CPI last time. BJD’s Dr. Kulamani Samal shouldn’t face any resistance to win this coastal district|
|Puri||BJD||BJD||Ace Supreme Court lawyer Pinaki Mishra is fighting from this electoral fort of BJD. Congress’ new face Sanchita Mohanty is not even in the picture anywhere.|
|Bhubaneswar||BJD||BJD||Baba Prasanna Patsani is immensely popular because of his saffron attire and humorous speeches. Thanks to his and his party BJD’s popularity, Patsani doesn’t campaign much but has been winning this seat easily. Patsani managed to get the BJD ticket after a lot of consultation among the BJD ranks to give a new face a chance. The rethink was due to Congress fielding a veteran cine artist Bijay Mohanty and BJP’s young (and unknown) Pruthwiraj Harichandan riding the Modi wave. In Bhubaneswar City, a big number of voters voted for BJP in the Lok Sabha even though they didn’t know anything about Harichandan. But with only 40% voting in the city, and BJD’s Patsani being popular among the rural voters, Patsani will retain Bhubaneswar.|