Even as the BJP tries to upstage the Congress in next years Lok Sabha elections,in Orissa it seems set for an uphill task with the party not winning a single ward in the civic polls in its pocketborough Kandhamal.
In polls held on Monday,Biju Janata Dal (BJD) won 9 of the 13 wards in Phulbani Municipality and retained it,and 10 of the 13 wards in G Udaygiri Notified Area Council (NAC). The Congress,which had won the NAC in the previous election,could not retain it but won 4 wards,two each from the Municipality and the NAC.
The BJP said the civic poll result was was not a true reflection of the partys popularity. In 2009,BJP had won 2 of the 3 seats in the Kandhamal Assembly polls held 10 months after Hindu-Christian clashes.
In western Orissa,BJP won one and BJD won 15 civic bodies out of the 20 where polling was held in November.
In the first round of civic polls in coastal Orissa in September,BJP won only one urban civic body while BJD swept the polls with 49 urban local bodies.
BJP State unit president K V Singh Deo said: Its not true that we are losing support in Kandhamal.