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VK Pandian, key aide of ex-Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, quits politics after massive election loss

The BJD won 51 seats in a House of 147-member Assembly in Odisha while it failed to win even a single seat in Lok Sabha polls in the state. The BJP won 78 seats in Assembly polls.

Edited By: Shashwat Bhandari @ShashBhandari New Delhi Updated on: June 09, 2024 16:18 IST
VK Pandian, Odisha
Image Source : PTI BJD leader VK Pandian in Bhubaneswar.

Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader and 5T Chairman VK Pandian on Sunday announced that he has decided to consioulsy withdraw himself from active politics adding he's sorry if campaign narrative against him played part in BJD's loss.

In a video message on social media platform X, Pandian said, "...Now consciously I decide to withdraw myself from active politics. I am sorry if I have hurt anyone on this journey. I am sorry if this campaign narrative against me has had a part to play in BJD's loss..."

Naveen Patnaik's BJD lost to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in both Lok Sabha and Assembly elections held simultaneously in the last four phases of the general elections 2024.

In Lok Sabha polls, Odisha which has a total of 21 parliamentary seats, the BJD failed to register even a single victory. The BJP won 20 seats and one seat was claimed by the Congress. In Assembly polls, the saffron party secured a comfortable majority winning 78 seats in the 147-member House.

The saffron party went to the elections under the leadership of Modi without naming a chief ministerial candidate.

BJP's grand victory and BJD's shock defeat

Mocked as a 'sign-board party' in Odisha in the 1990s, the BJP stormed into power in the state, ending the 24-year reign of BJD leader Naveen Patnaik.

Proving all political analysts wrong, the BJP in a huge leap won 78 of the 147 seats in the assembly, trouncing the BJD which also failed to win even a single seat in the Lok Sabha elections.

The BJD, which has been in power in Odisha since 2000, was in fact stunned by the saffron surge in all the regions including its forts in the coastal and southern regions of Odisha.

The BJP, which had last won only eight Lok Sabha seats, in 2024 secured 20 Parliamentary seats while Congress got one.

The Naveen Patnaik-led party, which had in 2019 elections won 113 seats in the assembly, could manage to get only 51 seats followed by Congress with 14 seats, CPI(M) one seat and Independents getting three seats.

Both the BJP and the Congress increased their tally in the Assembly this time. While the BJP had only 23 seats in 2019, there were nine Congress members in the Assembly.

Even the number of Independent candidates in Odisha Assembly also increased this time to three.

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