Biju Janata Dal (BJD) tonight stormed back to power for a record fourth consecutive term in Odisha by crossing the magic figure of 74 seats in the 147-member assembly and achieving absolute majority.
Candidates of the regional party have already won in 81 assembly constituencies while 36 others were leading in their respective seats. Prominent among BJD candidates are party supremo and chief minister Naveen Patnaik who trounced Congress nominee Sibaram Patra by 76,586 votes in his home turf Hinjili segment in Ganjam district.
Naveen-led BJD, which had won 103 seats in 2009 assembly polls, is all set to take a lion's share raising its tally to 117 in the state assembly. Congress, which had 27 members in the last assembly, has so far won 11 seats while five of its candidates were leading in different constituencies.
In a setback to Congress, OPCC president Jaydev Jena was defeated in Anandpur assembly constituency. BJP state unit president K V Singhdeo, overcoming strong opposition from BJD's Prakruti Devi, was leading by 74,000 votes in Patnagarh.
Though BJD was sweeping the polls, Finance Minister Prasanna Acharya lost to his Congress rival Subal Sahu in Bijepur while School and Mass Education Minister Rabi Narayan Nanda was was defeated by Congress leader Tara Prasad Bahinipati in Jeypore seat.
Also trailing was BJD leader and former minister A U Singhdeo (Balangir), while former Speaker and BJD leader Kishore Mohanty was defeated by Naba Das of Congress in Jharsuguda seat.
Senior Congress leader Chiranjib Biswal defeated BJD leader and former minister Bishnu Das in Jagatsinghpur assembly segment, while Congress stalwart Narasingh Mishra was leading over A U Singhdeo of BJD in Balangir seat.
Newly-floated Samata Kranti Dal was leading in one seat while independent candidates have won in Champua and Satyabadi assembly segments.