Bhubaneswar: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday exuded confidence to form the next government in Odisha, while the Congress hoped to better its 2014 performance.
While most exit polls indicated gain for the BJP in both the Lok Sabha and the Assembly, some hinted at a neck-and-neck fight between the BJP and the BJD in the state.
Odisha witnessed simultaneous elections to 21 Lok Sabha and 146 Assembly seats in four phases.
“The exit polls show a gain for the BJP in parliamentary seats. People have voted the BJP knowing that it can protect the interest of the country. Besides, we are quite confident of forming the government in the state,” said state BJP Vice-President Pratap Sarangi.
The ruling BJD expressed the hope to form the government for the fifth straight term in the state and perform well in the Lok Sabha elections. “I don’t want to speculate on the number as shown in the exit polls. But I can certainly say we will secure two-third majority in the Assembly and repeat the same in the Lok Sabha,” said Rajya Sabha MP Pratap Deb.
The Congress, which failed to bag a single Lok Sabha seat last time, is expected to open its account this time.
Even though the Congress did not claim to form the government in the state, it said the party would improve its tally in this election.
“The election results on May 23 will show a different story. We will play a decisive role in the state in forming the government as no political party would get majority in the state. The Congress would get around 30 seats in the Assembly,” said state Congress Vice-President Arya Kumar Gyanendra.
In 2014 general elections, the BJD had secured 20 seats, the BJP one and the Congress had drawn a blank.
In Assembly polls, the BJD had got 117 seats, the Congress 16 and the BJP 10 seats.