The Bharatiya Janata Party is set to win anywhere between 15 and 19 Lok Sabha seats in Odisha, the India Today-Axis My India exit poll results showed. The regional parties and others, which includes the Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal (BJD), will get only 2-6 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the exit poll predicted. Congress will get one seat at most, the poll prediction showed.
Some noteworthy contests had been seen in Odisha during the recent General Elections. The primary amongst them was the fight between Baijayant Panda of BJP and BJD's Anubhav Mohanty for the crucial Kendrapada seat.
Baijayant Panda, who once was very close to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, was suspended from BJD earlier this year over allegations of anti-party activities. He later joined BJP and is contesting on its ticket. Against him was BJD's actor-turned-politician Anubhav Mohanty. Although Mohanty is not a political heavyweight, the real fight was between old friends Panda and Patnaik.
And a lot is at stake for both bigwigs of Odisha politics. A defeat on Panda's part will be a huge political setback for the longstanding parliamentarian. On the other hand, BJD's loss from Kendrapara will be seen as a huge personal loss for the Odisha Chief Minister.
Another candidate of note was BJP's spokesperson Sambit Patra, who was in the fray from the Puri Lok Sabha seat.