Odisha's ruling Biju Janata Dal on Thursday appeared to be on course to form the government for a fifth term in a row, with its candidates winning 62 seats and leading in 50 others out of the 146 assembly segments.
Steering his BJD singularly to a certain landslide victory, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, won his his home turf Hinjili by over 60,000 votes, while he was leading from Bijepur till early on Friday morning.
The Bharatiya Janata Party won 13 seats and was leading in 10, while the Congress won four and was leading in five. The Communist Party of India-Marxist was leading in one seat, while one seat was won by an Independent candidate.
Polling was held in 146 assembly seats, as election in Patkura was postponed twice, following the death of a candidate and then due to cyclone Fani.
While the government's chief whip and former minister Amar Prasad Satpathy won from the Barchana assembly seat, defeating BJP's Amar Kumar Nayak by a slender margin of 1,485 votes, BJD candidate Mukesh Kumar Pal won from Pallahara, beating BJP nominee Ashok Mohanty by a margin of 6,214 votes.
Prominent among the BJD winners are state ministers Nrusingha Sahu, who retained his Parjanga seat by defeating BJP's B B Pradhan by a wafer thin margin of 740 votes, and Prafulla Mallick, who won from his home turf Kamakhyanagar beating BJP's Satrughan Jena by 16,509 votes.
Another Odisha minister Usha Devi retained her Chikiti assembly seat by defeating BJP's Manoranjan Dyansamantara by 20,635 votes, while BJD's B K Arukha, also a minister, won Bhanjanagar seat beating BJP nominee P K Nayak by 9,103 votes.
Other BJD assembly poll winners are Minakshi Mahanta (Champua), Manjulata Swain (Aska), Pranab Balabantaray (Dharmasala), Kishore Chandra Naik (Kuchinda), Pramila Mallick (Binjharpur) and Pritiranjan Ghadai (Sukinda).
The BJP opened its account in the Odisha assembly polls, with Sankar Oram defeating BJD's Makhlu Ekka by 16,351 votes in the Biramitrapur seat.
It is poised to emerge as the main opposition party, with its nominees leading in 22 seats. However, unlike in most other states, where the saffron party and its allies look in firm command, it will be a feeble opposition in Odisha.
The BJP has 10 seats in the outgoing House.
The Congress, which was the main opposition to the BJD since the 2000 elections, is leading in eight places. It has 16 MLAs in the outgoing assembly.
Ramesh Chandra Jena of the Congress won from Sanakhemundi, defeating BJD's Nandini Devi by 23,727 votes.
The CPI-M and and an Independent candidate are leading in one constituency each.
State Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik is trailing BJD candidates in both Ghasipura and Bhandaripokhari assembly segments.
BJP legislature party leader K V Singhdeo is also trailing BJD's Saroj Kumar Meher in the Patnagarh assembly seat. Singhdeo is the sitting MLA from Patnagarh.