Bhubaneswar, May 18: A turf war is on in the state between the BJP and the BJD and this time it's over celebrating a milestone in government formation.
To match the BJP's plans to celebrate Narendra Modi's three years as Prime Minister, the BJD is charting out its own to mark Naveen Patnaik's third year as chief minister in his fourth term. While Naveen will complete the third year in office on May 21, the Modi government will begin its fortnight-long celebrations on May 26.
BJD vice-president Debi Prasad Mishra said: "We have called a preparatory meeting on Saturday. All the ministers, MLAs, MPs and other party leaders will attend the meeting, which the chief minister will address."
Mishra today set the ball rolling by holding a detailed discussion with the chief minister's office about the party's plans to celebrate the occasion.
Party sources said the BJD would mainly focus on how to reach out to the people with its various programmes such as Aahar scheme, free medicine distribution programme under Nirmaya, Mamata scheme and its Re-1-per-kg rice scheme.
Party spokesperson Pratap Keshari Deb said: "In the wake of our successful three years, the party will be highlighting its success stories and the current welfare programmes undertaken by the government."
"We suffered a setback in the panchayat elections. It's a wake up call for us. As the BJP is planning to reach out to all the 36,000 polling booths across the state in June, we will also organise our workers at the booth level," said a senior BJD leader.
He said the party had assigned the job of chalking out the outreach programme to its senior leaders. "The leaders have been allocated particular districts. Naveen will ask them to go to the districts and prepare the roadmap for boosting the party's prospects in their respective districts," he said.
The party has decided to focus in areas where it miserably failed in the panchayat elections. "As a part of this strategy, Naveen today made an unscheduled visit to Mayurbhanj district and inspected the progress of work at the Pandit Raghunath Murmu Medical College and Hospital. He visited Baripada when the town was sizzling at 42°C. From this gesture only, one can know how serious Naveen is about restoring the party's old glory," said another leader.
The BJP, on the other hand, is planning to organise road shows and meetings to reach out to the people. "Thirty leaders, including Union ministers Venkaiah Naidu and Ram Kripal Yadav, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and ministers from other states, will address meetings at headquarters of all the 30 districts," said party's spokesperson Sajjan Sharma.
BJP MLA Pradeep Purohit said: "We will focus on reaching out to the people with various central government programmes. We will also tell them how the state government has failed to spend the money it is getting under various central schemes."