Naveen Patanaik has been at the helm in the state since 2000.
The exit polls for Odisha, which polled simultaneously for Lok Sabha and the assembly, have delivered a mixed bag for four-time Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and the ruling Biju Janata Dal. While Naveen Patnaik is predicted to return to power for a fifth successive term with the BJD crossing the majority mark in the Assembly, the party could cede some seats to the BJP in the Lok Sabha. Patanaik has been at the helm in the state since 2000.
On Sunday, Sambad Kanak News Exit Poll suggested that said the BJP may win 8-12 Lok Sabha seats from the state, far better than the 1 seat it won last time. However, the poll predicted 6-8 seats for Odisha from 20 in 2014 Lok Sabha polls. While Congress may win 1 seat, remaining constituencies may have a tight contest. The poll has also predicted “split vote or tactical vote” in the state, for both Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha and also BJP at the Centre. Leaders of both parties have disputed the exit poll.
As per the exit poll, BJD may retain its bastion in Kendrapara, while BJP candidate Baijayant Panda may face a setback. The poll also predicted big win for BJP in constituencies in western and north Odisha which are Sambalpur, Bargarh, Bolangir, Keonjhar, Sundergarh, Dhenkanal and Mayurbhanj. BJP may also win from the Lok Sabha seat of Bhubaneswar.
As per the exit poll, BJD may continue its domination in Berhampur, Aska, Kendrapara, Balasore, Kandhamal and Jagatsinghpur. The Congress may win the Nabarangpur Lok Sabha. Nearly six seats that include high profile contests like Puri and Cuttack, may see a neck to neck fight.
In Odisha, while BJD may come back to power, it may, however, lose its vote share, predicted the poll of polls. It has predicted 85 seats for BJD, a drop of 32 seats 2014 Odisha polls. The BJP may also win nearly 26 seats in the 147 member house.