The politics of Odisha are part of India's federal parliamentary representative democracy, where the union government exercises sovereign rights. Certain powers are reserved to the states, including Odisha. The state has a multi-party system, in which the two main parties are the nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the regional, socialist Biju Janata Dal (BJD). The Indian National Congress (INC) has also significant presence.

Present day

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The BJD has the largest number of seats in the Odisha Legislative Assembly. Odisha's chief minister is BJD leader Naveen Patnaik, who has led a government since March 2000. Other parties represented in the assembly are the BJP, the Congress Party and the Communist Party of India (Marxist). The next assembly election is scheduled for May 2024.

Odisha is represented by 21 members of the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian parliament. They are elected from geographic constituencies. In the Rajya Sabha (the upper house of parliament), the state is represented by 10 members who are elected by the legislative assembly.


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Odisha was part of the Bengal Presidency during the British Raj. The presidency was split in 1912, creating Bihar and Orissa Province. In 1936, Orissa Province was created from the Odia-speaking areas of Bihar and Orissa Province and portions of the Vizagapatam Hill Tracts Agency and Ganjam Hill Tracts Agency.

The Government of India Act 1935 provided for the election of a provincial legislative assembly and government, and the head of government was designated as the prime minister. Assembly elections were held in 1937; the Indian National Congress won a majority of the seats, but declined to form a government. A minority provisional government was formed under Krushna Chandra Gajapati, the maharaja of Paralakhemundi. The Congress reversed its decision, and resolved to form a government in July 1937; the governor invited Bishwanath Das to do so. In 1939, with Congress ministers in other provinces, Das resigned in protest of the Governor-General's declaration of war against Germany without consulting Indian leaders. Orissa was under governor's rule until 1941, when Gajapati again became the premier until 1944. Another round of elections was held in 1946 with another Congress majority, and a government was formed under Harekrushna Mahatab.

With Indian independence the position of prime minister was replaced with that of chief minister, and Mahatab became Odisha's first chief minister. Most of the Odia-speaking princely states acceded to India, and were merged with Odisha. In 1951-52, the first elections were held under India's new constitution. Congress won a plurality of seats, but failed to obtain a majority. A coalition government was formed by Nabakrushna Choudhury, with the support of independents.


The state has a mix of national and regional political parties:

Former political parties are:

Chief ministers

Main article: List of chief ministers of Odisha

Since independence, Odisha's chief ministers have been:

#= Incumbent number

# Name Took office Left office Term[5][6] Party
1 Harekrushna Mahatab 15 August 1947 12 May 1950 1 Indian National Congress
2 Nabakrushna Choudhury 12 May 1950 19 October 1956 1st: 12 May 1950–20 Feb 1952
2nd: 20 Feb 1952–19 Oct 1956
Indian National Congress
(1) Harekrushna Mahatab 19 October 1956 25 February 1961 2nd: 19 Oct 1956–6 Apr 1957
3rd: 6 Apr 1957–22 May 1959
4th: 22 May 1959–25 Feb 1961
Indian National Congress
3 Biju Pattanaik 23 June 1961 2 October 1963 1 Indian National Congress
4 Biren Mitra 2 October 1963 21 February 1965 1 Indian National Congress
5 Sadashiva Tripathy 21 February 1965 8 March 1967 1 Indian National Congress
6 Rajendra Narayan Singh Deo 8 March 1967 9 January 1971 1 Swatantra Party and Orissa Jana Congress
7 Bishwanath Das 3 April 1971 14 June 1972 1 United Front (Swatantra Party, Utkal Congress and Jharkhand Party)
8 Nandini Satpathy 14 June 1972 3 March 1973 1st: 14 Jun 1972–3 Mar 1973
2nd: 6 Mar 1974–16 Dec 1976
Indian National Congress
9 Binayak Acharya 29 December 1976 30 April 1977 1 Indian National Congress
10 Nilamani Routray 26 June 1977 17 February 1980 1 Janata Party
11 Janaki Ballabh Pattanaik 9 June 1980 7 December 1989 1st: 9 Jun 1980–10 Mar 1985
2nd: 10 Mar 1985–7 Dec 1989
Indian National Congress
12 Hemananda Biswal 7 December 1989 5 March 1990 1 Indian National Congress
(3) Biju Pattanaik 5 March 1990 15 March 1995 2 Janata Dal
(11) Janaki Ballabh Pattanaik 15 March 1995 17 February 1999 3 Indian National Congress
13 Giridhar Gamang 17 February 1999 6 December 1999 1 Indian National Congress
(12) Hemananda Biswal 6 December 1999 5 March 2000 2 Indian National Congress
14 Naveen Patnaik 5 March 2000 Incumbent 1st: 5 Mar 2000–16 May 2004
2nd: 16 May 2004–21 May 2009
3rd: 21 May 2009–21 May 2014
4th: 21 May 2014–29 May 2019
5th: 29 May 2019–present
Biju Janata Dal


Main article: Elections in Odisha

Elections to the first Vidhan Sabha (1952–57) of Odisha were held in 1951–52. The Indian National Congress won 67 seats with 37.87 percent of the vote, and Ganatantra Parishad won 31 seats and 20.50 percent of vote.[7] Congress fell short of a simple majority, but formed a government with the support of independents; Nabakrushna Choudhuri was chief minister. The Socialist Party and the Communist Party of India won 10 and 7 seats, respectively, and 24 independents were elected. Nabakrushna Choudhuri resigned after the 1955 flood, and Harekrushna Mahtab returned as chief minister.

Elections to the second Vidhan Sabha (1957–62) were held in 1957.[8] Congress won a plurality with 56 seats, and Ganatantra Parishad won 51 seats; Congress formed a government led by Harekrushna Mahtab.

The most recent election was held in 2019. Biju Janata Dal returned to power with a majority, winning 112 of 147 seats. The BJP won 23 seats (becoming the main opposition), and the INC won nine seats.


  1. ^ Guest (10 October 2018). "Aam Aadmi Party (Loksabha) (AP, Telangana & Odisha)". Election Commission of India. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Election Commission of India". Assembly Election 2019. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  3. ^ Guest (27 September 2018). "All India Forward Bloc". Election Commission of India. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Odisha Lok Sabha Election Result 2019, Odisha Assembly and General Poll Result 2019 – IndiaToday". IndiaToday. 5 July 2019. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  5. ^ The ordinal number of the term being served by the person specified in the row in the corresponding period
  6. ^ "Brief History of Orissa Legislative Assembly Since 1937". 2011. Archived from the original on 9 January 2007. Retrieved 23 April 2012. NAME OF THE CHIEF MINISTERS OF ORISSA
  7. ^ Bailey, F.G. (1963). Politics and Social Change: Orissa in 1959. Campus: Géographie. University of California Press. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-520-01678-1. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  8. ^ Bailey, F.G. (1963). Politics and Social Change: Orissa in 1959. Campus: Géographie. University of California Press. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-520-01678-1. Retrieved 9 September 2019.