BJP cheers Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand chief ministers

While the senior BJP leaders from Odisha are competing to stake claim to party's stellar performance in panchayat elections, the party leaders suggest that it was party's new organisation supported by about 2,000 dedicated cadre from neighbouring BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand with their chief ministers Raman Singh and Raghubar Das campaigning that helped.

This is reflected in the spatial distribution of BJP's victory in the local body elections. According to the provisional results, the BJP has emerged as the single largest party in at least eight districts ­ Balangir, Bargarh, Kalahandi, Mayurbhanj, Sambalpur, Malkangi ri, Sundergarh and Subranapur -bordering BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.

“Apart from being in charge of Odisha, the BJP national joint gener al secretary (organiza tion) Saudan Singh is al so in-charge of Chhattis garh and Jharkhand. He leveraged this not only to get chief ministers ­ Ra man Singh and Raghu bar Das ­ former Jhark hand chief minister Ar jun Munda but also about 2,000 workers from neighbouring districts of these states to help BJP cadres in Odisha,“ confided a BJP source privy to the entire BJP effort in Odisha for these elections.

As per the provisions results, the BJP has won over 300 seats across the state, a manifold jump over its previous tally of 36, but also bettered its previous best of about 175 seats when it had contested in alliance with the BJD. As a result, the incumbent BJD's tally has shrunk to 460 as against its previous 650 seats while Congress has been virtually marginalized to 66 seats as compared to 126 seats last time.

Party leaders suggest that these results were made possible with an exercise that began with completely overhauling BJP organization in the state where the party had been relegated to margins of state politics after ruling BJD kicked out the BJP as its alliance partner for good ahead of 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

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