NEW DELHI :
The Bharatiya Janata Party may get a big leg up in Odisha with several exit polls predicting between 6-12 seats for the saffron party with the exception of India Today-Axis My India which Sunday forecasted a clean sweep for BJP.
The India Today-Axis My India exit poll shows that BJP will win between 15-19 seats of the total 21 Lok Sabha seats in the state. And rest 2-6 seats going to Navin Patnaik-led BJD. In contrast India TV CNX predicted a reverse – with BJP bagging six and rest going to BJD.
While Times Now-VMR exit polls showed 12 seats going to BJP, the News 18-IPSOS exit poll predicted BJP to win 6-8 seats and BJD winning between 12-14 seats. New18 in fact is one of the few who predicted one or two seats going to Congress.
Though these numbers are assumptions and should be taken with a pinch of salt, yet the trend indicates BJP winning big in the state and their effort is yielding results. Like West Bengal, Odisha was taken up by the saffron party as a growth state to compensate any loss in the states like Uttar Pradesh.
The soaring popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the state and a campaign with enough emphasis on nationalism and national security may have helped BJP in the simultaneous polls. With one of the 21 seats in the 2014 elections, any gain this time is positive for the BJP. But, the saffron party looked at Odisha as a growth state that it believes will help compensate some of the losses it may incur in Uttar Pradesh.
In contrast this will be seen as a drubbing of BJD and dwindling popularity of chief minister Navin Patnaik after four consecutive wins.
The seven phase elections ended on Sunday and the counting of votes will happen on 23 May.