The Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is set to retain power for an unprecedented fifth consecutive term in Odisha as the regional party on Thursday completely decimated the opposition in the state Assembly. The BJD was comfortably leading in more than 115 seats out of a total 146 in the state Assembly.Patnaik also bucked the national trend where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) appeared sweeping most parts of the country.
Patnaik will be the third Chief Minister in the country to be in power for fifth consecutive term after former West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu and Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling.Presently, Chamling is the longest serving Chief Minister in the country.
The BJD President came to power in March 2000 elections with an alliance with the BJP. Since then he has been winning elections after elections and bettering his tally in every polls.The BJD has improved its performance over the last three state elections - 61 seats in 2004, 103 seats in 2009, and 117 seats in 2014.
Meanwhile, Modi on Thursday congratulated Patnaik for winning the state Assembly elections a record consecutive fifth time. "Congratulations to Naveen Babu for yet another victory in Odisha. Wishing him the very best for the next term," Modi tweeted.Out of the 146 Assembly seats, the BJD was leading in 115 seats, BJP 21, Congress eight and others two seats.In the Lok Sabha seats, the BJD was leading in 14 and BJP seven seats. Simultaneous elections were held for 21 Lok Sabha and 146 Assembly seats in four phases in the state.