With the overall voter turnout in the third phase of polling settling below 13 per cent in Odisha against the 2014 figures, political observers said it showed fatigue with the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in the state but did not mean the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would be able to draw advantage from this.
Odisha recorded 59.40 per cent voter turnout in the third phase of vote on Tuesday, which is about 13 per cent less than the 2014 figures.
"It's a bipolar fight in Odisha between the BJP and the BJD. Earlier, there was no alternative to Naveen Patnaik. Now, it's a contest between Narendra Modi and Patnaik. While Modi is speaking about the national perspective, Patnaik is stressing state issues. The vote can go either way as simultaneous elections are being held for the Lok Sabha and the state Assembly," said political analyst Rabi Das.
For the BJP, the advantage would lie in an increase in vote share. This is almost certain to happen as there is a straight fight between the BJP and the BJD in these constituencies.
Elections were held for Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri, Sambalpur, Keonjhar and Dhenkanal Lok Sabha seats and 42 Assembly constituencies in the third phase.
The BJD had won all the six Lok Sabha and 42 Assembly seats in 2014. The six Lok Sabha constituencies had recorded 72.79 per cent voter turnout in 2014. Odisha had registered around 74 per cent polling in 2014.
The fatigue with the BJD was manifested in protests reported from some areas where voters apparently didn't come to the polling centres protesting lack of civic amenities in their areas. Such action could harm the BJD.
In the third phase, while Keonjhar Lok Sabha constituency recorded the highest 69.63 per cent polling, Dhenkanal registered 62.80 per cent and Puri 61.15 per cent.
The polling was 56.97 per cent in Cuttack Lok Sabha seat, while it was 56.34 per cent in Sambalpur constituency. Bhubaneswar seat recorded the lowest voting percentage of 50.46.
The second phase of elections in Odisha, held on April 18, recorded 72 per cent turnout, while in the first phase it was 73.76 per cent.
Elections are being held in four phases in Odisha for 21 Lok Sabha and 147 Assembly seats.
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