The BJP had been counting to have the backing of the majority of the 21 seats from Orissa with the help of Navin Patnaik's BJD. But with Navin Patnaik's stunning announcement last night, the BJP's campaign has received a severe setback.
It is not just a loss of the majority of these seats that would hit the party, but also its psychological impact on the other allies -- such as the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra and SAD in Punjab -- with whom BJP's seat-sharing talks are already in heavy water.
Leaving other calculations aside, even the following analyses by Arun Nehru, published in yesterday's Deccan Chronicle, which was clearly written before the jolt from Orissa, tells its own story.
Graphic Courtesy, Deccan Chronicle
While the seat-sharing and alliance troubles are haunting the UPA and the so-called Third Front as well, at the moment, clearly, it's a big set-back for the BJP -- some say a setback big enough to have knocked the party out of the Lok Sabha race already.
NDA: 174 &
It may be useful to remind ourselves that just a few days back, the Times of India had estimated the following seats for the 2009 LS polls:
Third Front: 82 &
For Orissa, the TOI estimates gave 4 to Congress, 3 to BJP and 14 to BJD. So basically, as of now, both DNA and TOI estimates would show the BJP suffering a setback of at least 14-15 seats.
Graphic courtesy, Times of India