Bhubaneshwar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday once again proved his invincibility and withstood a spirited and high-pitched battle waged against him by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah to unseat him from power.
As per the latest reports, the regional Biju Janata Dal (BJD) headed by Naveen was racing towards a landslide victory in the Assembly elections.
Latest trends said the BJD candidates were leading in 109 of the 147 Assembly seats while the BJP, the main contender for power was ahead in just 25 seats.
The Congress was a distant third with leads in just 10 seats. The independents were leading in two other seats.
Modi and Shah had addressed as many as eight election rallies each during the campaigning.
With the fresh victory, the BJD is set to retain power for an unprecedented fifth consecutive term and Naveen Patnaik will be sworn-in as Chief Minister for the fifth straight term.
The CM who contested from two Assembly seats - Bijepur in Bargarh district and Hinjli in Ganjam district
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, the Sikkim CM Mr Chamling is the longest serving Chief Minister.
Naveen 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.
Modi congratulated Patnaik for winning the Assembly elections.
In the Lok Sabha, the BJD was leading in 12 and BJP nine seats. Simultaneous elections were held for 21 Lok Sabha and 146 Assembly seats....