Union Territories

Orissa Legislative Assembly

Orissa was declared a separate province on April 1936 by the Government of India. At that time, the province of Orissa included old Bihar, Orissa Province, Central Provinces and Madras Presidency. The province was under the control of the Governor till March 1937. The Advisory Council comprising of 20 persons assisted the Governor in the administration. The Government of India Act 1935 determined the strength of the Orissa Legislative Assembly. The assembly was run by 60 members including the 4 nominated ones. The Orissa Assembly Election was conducted from 18th to 23rd January, 1937 and the first pre-independent Orissa Legislative Assembly was formed in 1937. Congress came out with flying colors and secured 36 seats.

The second pre-independent Orissa Legislative Assembly was formed in 1946 and this time Congress Party could manage a second win with 47 seats including 36 uncontested seats. After independence, the first Legislative Assembly of Orissa was held in 1952. This assembly owes its origin to the Constitution of India. The strength of the Orissa Legislative Assembly was revised to 140 members and Congress won for the third time with 67 seats. Congress also won the 1957 assembly election with 56 seats and it again got the chance to form the Orissa government.

The third assembly poll was conducted in 1961 and this time, a separate building was constructed to carry out the assembly functions. Congress again got the maximum votes in the 1961 assembly poll and it was given the right to form the government with 82 seats in the house. The 1967 assembly election is quite significant in the context of Congress's position in Orissa Legislative Assembly.

Congress was having a gala time since the formation of Orissa Legislative Assembly. No other political party could become influential like Congress in Orissa before 1967. The consecutive wins of the Congress was interrupted by the Swatantra Party in the 1967 Orissa Legislative Assembly Election. The Swatantra Party won the election with 49 seats in Vidhan Sabha. But Swatantra Party lost its hold on Orissa Government very soon and the Indian National Congress took over the Orissa Legislative Assembly with 51 seats in the 1971 assembly election.

The strength of the assembly was revised again in 1974 and this time the house was given the permission to accommodate 147 members. Indian National Congress again got a clean win with 69 seats in the house. Janata Dal came into prominence in Orissa political scenario in 1977. Janata Dal excelled in 1977 assembly election and it secured 110 seats though it could not retain its influence over the state for long. Indian National Congress came to power with 117 seats in 1980 assembly election. The 1985 assembly election had the same result. The Janata Dal regained its power in the 10th assembly, 1990 and it broke all the records and got an amazing victory with123 seats. Indian National Congress again came to power in 1995 with 80 seats in the house. Biju Janata Dal got the maximum votes in 12th and 13th assembly election in 2000 and 2004 respectively. Other two major political parties were Indian National Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party. Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and Orissa Gana Parisad are significant regional political parties. The Communist Party of India and the Communist Party of India (M) managed one seat each and the Independent gathered 8 seats.

This assembly was constituted on 15th May 2004. Shri Habibulla Khan was declared the Protem Speaker and he was assigned his role till a Speaker is elected. Shri Maheswar Mohanty was elected the Speaker and Shri Prahlad Dora was appointed the Deputy Speaker. Shri Naveen Patnaik who led the Biju Janata Dal Legislature Party became the Chief Minister. Shri Janaki Ballav Patnaik who led the Indian National Congress was appointed the leader of opposition. The first session was summoned on 30.06.2004. Thus, we can expect a tough contest among Indian National Congress, Biju Janata Dal, Janata Dal and Bharatiya Janata Party in the coming Orissa Legislative Assembly Election.