The Modi juggernaut has finally managed to make a dent in the seemingly impregnable fortress called BJD built by Naveen Patnaik, but stopped well short of razing it to the ground. Like the combative Mamata Banerjee in neighbouring West Bengal, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) supremo Naveen Patnaik appears to have conceded substantial ground to the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections in Odisha even as he nearly repeated his stupendous 2014 success in the assembly elections.
By May 23 morning, the ruling party was leading in 12 of the 21 Lok Sabha seats in the state with the BJP ahead in eight and Congress in one, which effectively means the BJD is conceding eight of the 20 it won last time. The saffron party, which won only one seat (Sundargarh-Jual Oram) last time, has reasons to be happy about the results since it has added substantially to its tally in 2014. But the party is actually disappointed because it had set its sights much higher and had hoped to sweep the polls riding on the Modi wave. After the exit polls on May 19, it had bragged that it would win 17-18 in Lok Sabha seats and also form the next government in the state.